Take a seat to take a stand: Council calls for end to coercive control

10 May 2024 |
10 May 2024

Southern Downs Regional Council is calling on the community to take a seat to take a stand during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

While the conversation needs to continue year-round, the month of May purposefully directs the community’s attention for 31 days to commit to ending all forms of domestic and family violence and is a timely reminder that we should create safer communities for everyone through education, support and collective action.

In supporting Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, Southern Downs Mayor Melissa Hamilton is proud to shine the light on the region’s participation in the Red Bench Project.

Launched in 2019 by the Red Rose Foundation, the national Red Bench Project encourages the installation of red benches as permanent reminders that domestic violence occurs within our communities and that we have the power to ‘change the ending’.

There are currently red benches at St Mark’s Church and Federation Park in Warwick and at St Joseph’s Parish and Kilpa Park in Stanthorpe and Mayor Hamilton hopes to see more spread across the Southern Downs in the future.

“May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month and I am proud to take a seat to take a stand,” Mayor Hamilton said.

“The Red Bench Project is a simple concept to raise awareness, start conversations and join with people at red benches across Australia to call for an end to domestic violence-related deaths.

“It is so important to learn how to be a proactive bystander, without judgment, so that we can help people to reach out for the help that they need and by doing so to change the ending.

“The Southern Downs has four red benches and I would love to see more across all of our towns to send a message of support to survivors and advocates.”

Southern Downs Councillor Sarah Deane said Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month encourages empathy and understanding to break down stereotypes and support survivors of domestic violence.

“The Red Bench Project helps raise public awareness of the social and personal impacts of domestic violence and hopefully takes us another step towards creating a safer and more equitable society,” Councillor Deane said.

“Join us this May as we amplify the mission of the Red Bench Project during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

“Together, let's promote empathy and understanding as we work towards a community where families feel safe and supported. On the Southern Downs, we are taking a seat to take a stand.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing coercive control, please seek help and support.
In an emergency call the police on Triple Zero (000).
DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Last edited date 10 May 2024