Go black and blue to fight domestic violence

Promoting the Black and Blue domestic violence campaign and asking people to wear ribbons are women from the Lismore & District Womens Health Centre (l-r) Pamela Ashton, Madeleine Long (student and social activist), Sue Fraser, Christina Henry and Cindy Thummel.

Domestic violence isnt just about physical bruising it ultimately bruises every aspect of a womans life.

This is the key message behind the Domestic Violence Committee Coalitions (DVCC) Black and Blue campaign, which was launched today (Thursday, September 14) and is being promoted locally by the Lismore & District Womens Health Centre.

Halting domestic violence is about two things education and providing services, said Womens Health Centre acting manager, Cindy Thummel. Weve had a huge number of domestic violence related calls in the last month and that is a direct result of a lack of services in the Lismore area.

The campaign aims to raise public awareness about the different forms of abuse, to empower women to not accept any type of abuse, and to educate men that domestic violence is absolutely wrong full stop. Meanwhile, the DVCC is calling on the NSW Government to increase funding so organisations like the Womens Health Centre are better equipped to provide support.

People are being encouraged to get behind the campaign and wear a black and blue ribbon from September 14-21 to help keep the issue at the forefront of peoples minds.

It is really important that women are able to detect the early warnings signs of abuse, which are often really subtle, said Cindy. Plus women need ready access to counselling, early intervention, information and referral. But most importantly, it is the men that need to convince other men that this behaviour is not acceptable and men also need to protect women from this behaviour.

Constant put downs, being told you are worthless or crazy, wanting constantly to know your whereabouts and who you talk to, and constant accusations of infidelity are all signs of an abusive relationship. Tragically, two children and 12 women have already died this year in NSW in domestic violence related incidences.

Wearing a black and blue ribbon communicates to the public that domestic violence is always serious, said Cindy, and this campaign will help promote discussion on the terrible impact domestic violence has on the lives of women and children.

Black and blue ribbons are free and are now available from Caddies Coffee Shop and the Lismore & District Womens Health Centre at 25 Uralba Street, Lismore. For more info phone 6621 9800.

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