Gippslanders want to support those in need.
That is the message Gippsland Period Project organisers have taken from the initiative where more than 10,500 sanitary products will be distributed to the region’s homeless community.
It will also give dignity, opportunity and choice to individuals who have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives, according to Gippsland Homelessness Network coordinator Lisa Morgan. She said the project highlighted how Gippslanders know “people deserve more than what they get” and hoped a conversation around family violence would trigger cultural change.
“For us, we want people to grow up understanding that they shouldn’t expect that in their intimate relationships,” Ms Morgan said.
“They shouldn’t expect that in their family environment and it’s okay to challenge it when it does happen to them.
“Because there will be people to support them…there to assist whilst they go through that change and are brave enough to look at an alternative.”
Gippsland Period Project instigator and coordinator of Morwell Neighbourhood House, Tracie Lund, brought together residents and emergency and support services to highlight the magnitude of family violence.
She said through her work with the Period Project and networking with other agencies, it was evident family violence caused many women to become homeless.
“For us it was about having the networks and connections to bring people together… one, to make a statement and two, to start a community conversation,” Ms Lund said.
Ms Morgan said while Gippsland experienced some of the highest rates of family violence, there was a multiple-agency effort to encourage the community to feel safe in reporting incidents.
“We don’t want their children and themselves (those who have experienced or witnessed family violence) to grow up thinking that this is all they can expect in their life,” she said.