1 in 3 Australian women will suffer from domestic abuse.
And 1 in 4 Australian children will witness the abuse of their mother.
Horrifying statistics, particularly as I look around the Urban List team we have built. It sickens me to think that, according to these figures, it's probable one of the beautifully talented women around me will, at one time, suffer at the whim of a controlling male.
Last Thursday evening, the Urban List team headed out in support of Good Sams Foundation's fundraiser – Runways for Refuge – banding together with 100+ Brisbane women to raise awareness and much needed funds for females suffering from domestic abuse. Frockshop, Lady Lamington and Veuve Clicquot played host to the affair, offering a beautiful setting for beautiful people to gather in support of a noble cause.
While the statistics surrounding domestic abuse are harrowing, the message the Good Sams delivered was one of optimism and hope – communicating that the end to the problem really lies aiding these women to regain power and control over their lives. At the core of their mission is fundraising to open further safe houses across Brisbane, providing these vulnerable women and children with an opportunity to break free of the cycle and to regain their lives, their dreams, and their dignity.
Rather than lamenting the problem that faces these women and shaping the Thursday evening into one of hopelessness and grief, the group was encouraged by MC Marie-Louise Theile and guest of honour, Ita Buttrose, to reflect on how lucky we all enjoy the privileged position we do.
How fortunate we are to have deadlines.
To have the opportunity to greet our children with smiles at school pick up.
To juggle the demands and opportunities of being successful professionals while leading busy family and charmed social lives.
So easy to forget; and yet so easy to believe as we took stock of our beautiful surrounds. Here we were, sipping sponsored Veuve Clicquot, perusing fashions by Frockshop on the Lady Lamington roofdeck. What better position could we possibly have to effect change?
It is my hope that the women that attended the Runways with Refuge event embrace the power they wield, extending the message beyond the bubbles and traffic of Brunswick.
I know the minute I left the event I spoke with my mother, with my sister, and with four friends about the statistics I'd heard, as well as the current safehouse mission of the Good Sams. It did occur to me that of the 6 I called, statistically 30% may need the information themselves one day.
From the conversations I had, I'm sure the message will travel much further than Hamilton, or Brookfield, or Toowong. Of course, knowing the statistics, there's a large chance there were women in our midst with first hand knowledge of the damage of domestic abuse. May the evening encourage them to seek the support necessary to change their situation; and to find the help they need to mend.
To learn how you can help, please visit the Good Sams website.