Grab your sneakers and exercise gear to help to raise funds for ‘Women and Children First’. As Sydney emerges from the longest lockdown of this pandemic, experts are predicting a spike in women seeking help to escape domestic violence. Now is the time to reunite with your loved ones to help raise vital funds for women and children experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Walk for Women and Children is an exercise fundraising event that will be running throughout the month of November to raise vital funds for women and children experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
“We discovered that there was not only an increase in the severity of domestic violence as well as its prevalence, but we also discovered, much to our surprise and shock, that perpetrators have been using COVID lockdowns to actually extend their coercive control over their partners,” said Professor Kerry Carrington.
Grab your family and friends and start walking in places you haven’t seen for a while or have never been to before. You could perhaps walk around the Sydney CBD and watch as it starts opening up again, walk a trail or a park outside your LGA or venture out and walk a central or south coast beach with friends you haven’t seen since 2019!
Without the extra government funding that was available in 2020, services like Women and Children First (formerly Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre) may have to turn away help seekers or place them on a waiting list as women seek help after the lockdown.
By joining the Walk for Women and Children this November you can use your exercise time to reunite with your loved ones and raise vital funds to help reunite women with their self-esteem and independence.
About Women and Children First
Women and Children First (formerly Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre) was rebranded this year to better reflect the services they provide for women and their children. It is a not-for-profit organisation supporting women and children escaping domestic violence and abuse. They provide crisis accommodation and support services (like counselling, legal advice clinics, advocacy and family support) on the North Shore and Northern Beaches of Sydney for ‘at risk’ women and children.
They have a women’s home refuge on the North Shore, plus six units on the Northern Beaches for crisis accommodation. They also have transition houses for women who are ready to slowly take the steps to move on. Find out more about the refuges here.
Interestingly some services have seen a decrease in calls to their service during this latest lockdown but an increase in web chat, particularly in the early hours of the morning.
“We think that is because women are trying to find the safest time to make contact,” according to the Women Safety Service South Australia.
Being home more with the perpetrators of the violence has left women with little chance to seek help, therefore Women and Children First are expecting a spike in help-seeking as restrictions ease. More information about the support services offered can be found here.
Walk for Women & Children
Choose to walk, run, ride, swim or dance throughout the month of November and know you are doing it for a great cause! Do it with a friend you haven’t seen for a while and be motivated by the knowledge that you are helping women and children when they need it most.
‘I’m going to walk 100km in November. That’s around 3.3 km per day, which seems achievable but also a good daily goal’ – Ruth
‘I’m going to exercise for one hour every day – whether that’s an outdoor training session or a 1-hour walk – I just want to move every single day!’ – Rachel
‘I’m committing to a daily 5km run in November’ – Sally
We’ve set up a fundraising team for North Shore Mums to join. You can exercise alone or exercise with friends… but together, we can be stronger and have an even bigger impact! By joining our fundraising team, we will be able to see the direct results of amazing North Shore Mums stepping out and raising funds for victims of domestic violence during November.
All you need to do is:
- Register and join the North Shore Mums team
- Set your goal and make a plan of how you will achieve it &
- Get sponsors
Registration is $25 (and you can opt to make an additional donation when you sign up), and you can also raise funds by getting sponsors!
So what are you waiting for? Get moving! Let’s make a real difference to women and children who need these support services.
How the donations are used:
- $25: buys craft supplies to keep young children busy and learning through play.
- $50: pays for new school shoes that were left behind.
- $100: buys groceries so a mother can cook meals for her family while living in our refuge.
- $250: buys clothes and a small amount of make-up so a woman can regain her dignity and attend job interviews.
- $1,000: pays for public school fees and school supplies for one child starting a new school.
Donations that bring joy…
Recently, Women and Children First were able to provide a birthday cake with candles and some balloons and host a very modest in-house party with other residents of the refuge to celebrate the 4th birthdays of two boys who recently came to live who came to live in one of their refuges. Whilst this may be small, it carries huge weight in terms of helping to normalise these children’s lives, and to alleviate the sadness, guilt and shame that the Mothers often carry. All victims leave the abuse with guilt and most have been financially cut off, leaving them penniless. They can’t even afford a birthday cake. This would not have been possible without the generous donations they have received.
Everyday we witness how our donors make a difference to the lives of vulnerable women and children. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference – usually the things that we take for granted.
If you’re looking for a charity to support – either through a one-off donation or a regular periodic payment – please consider supporting the Women and Children First. All donations are used to provide necessary services and purchase essential items for families who can’t otherwise afford them.
If you’re experiencing domestic violence or abuse, or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Their case workers will step in and make the suitable arrangements to ensure their safety and support.
Domestic Violence Support Services
- Women & Children First | Phone: 9971 4499
- Bringa and Delvena Women and Children’s Refuges | Phone: 9971 4499
- NSW Domestic Violence Line | Phone: 1800 65 64 63 (24 hour/7 days a week) – For information, advice and referral, crisis counselling and crisis accommodation
- 1800RESPECT | Phone: 1800 737 732 (24 hour/7 days a week) – A national Line sexual assault, domestic family violence counselling service
- Rape Crisis Centre/Sexual Assault Line | Phone: (02) 9819 6565 or 1800 424 017
- Women’s Legal Services NSW – Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (DVAS) | Phone: 1800 810 784 or 02 8745 6999