They shield us from the elements, now bus shelters across the Moreton Bay Region are being used to help protect the community against domestic violence through the Recognise and Reach Out awareness campaign.
Mayor Peter Flannery launched the initiative last week with Centre Against Domestic Violence CEO Holly Brennan, and co-chairs of the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council Kay McGrath and Bob Atkinson.
It coincides with the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which runs from November 25 to December 10.
The Zonta Club of Redcliffe has erected banners at Redcliffe Area Youth Space and near the PCYC at Deception Bay Rd, Deception Bay.
“Recognise the signs and reach out for support; that’s the message we’re sending through the community during the global 16 Days of Activism against violence,” Mayor Flannery says.
“We identified 48 high-traffic bus shelters in every corner of the Moreton Bay Region to place the message front of mind, reaching on average more than 75,000 people per month.
The Recognise and Reach Out campaign will target three key audiences - people experiencing abuse, bystanders and people using abuse - through four different designs that will also be placed in Council’s customer service centres, libraries, museums, galleries and community halls.
“You’ll notice a QR code on the posters which takes you directly to a dedicated resource webpage for more information, including the different forms of abuse and where to get help in Moreton Bay,” Mayor Flannery explains.
“We hope that by shining a spotlight on this inexcusable abuse, we can help increase the number of people contacting local service organisations and police for support; for themselves or others.”
“Creating cultural change takes time, so this campaign will be the first of several initiatives over the next 12 months in Moreton Bay to raise awareness of domestic and family violence,” Mayor Flannery says.
With breaches against domestic violence orders in the Moreton Bay Region rising exponentially this year, Centre Against Domestic Abuse CEO Holly Brennan says change is vital to save people’s lives.
“There have been more than 2360 domestic violence offences committed in Moreton Bay this year alone, that’s more than nine offences each day,” Ms Brennan said.
“That’s a horrific statistic when you consider how many more incidents must go unreported and the fact that domestic violence has spiked through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Abuse and violence in any form is simply unacceptable, so if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, please reach out.”
This campaign follows on from Council’s installation of 13 red benches to encourage conversation within the community this year and a two-day regional visit from the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council in July.
“All of us have an important role to play when it comes to stopping violence in our community, workplaces and homes,” Ms McGrath says.
“Moreton Bay Regional Council’s campaign is encouraging more people to recognise their ability to be effective bystanders and to reach out and seek help; whether you’re experiencing abuse, witnessing abuse, or using abuse.”
“When we visited the region back in July, we learnt about the excellent work being done here by local organisations in the fight against domestic and family violence,” Mr Atkinson says.
“This campaign not only continues that important work, but it reminds everyone that help is available and that we all have a role to play in supporting those around us who may be experiencing domestic violence.”
For information, services and support visit mbrc.qld.gov.au/raro