Red benches for domestic violence

Article image - Red benches for domestic violence Kyogle Council Mayor, Danielle Mulholland and Sheryl Neilsen, of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group and member of the Kyogle CWA Evening Branch.

Kyogle Council, New South Wales, has painted two benches at the front of the Kyogle hospital bright red as a stark reminder that domestic violence dwells in the community.

The red benches also serve as a beacon of hope to domestic violence victims that help is available.

Council painted the benches red at the request of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group which has joined a campaign to have 100 red benches installed across Australia.

The campaign is being driven by the not-for-profit Red Rose Foundation which is working to end domestic violence in Australia.

Kyogle Council Mayor and patron of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group, Danielle Mulholland said the red benches movement first came to light during the 16 days of activism last December.

“The CWA organised the 16 days of activism in Kyogle and that included a play on domestic violence and a short presentation on the red benches movement.

“The whole thing grew from there, with the idea being that the red benches will get people talking about domestic violence.
“And having them at the front of the hospital reminds people that victims of domestic violence often end up at the hospital, or worse, the morgue.
“As Mayor, I feel it’s important that the victims of domestic violence, women and men, know that Council cares and that help and support is available.”
Cr Mulholland stressed that domestic violence was not limited to physical violence.
“It can be emotional, psychological, financial and even spiritual abuse whereby a person is prevented from pursuing their own spiritual beliefs because of a family member.
“If we put a spotlight on domestic violence, then perhaps the victims and perpetrators will get the help they need.”