THERE’S a new front line in the battle against family violence in Wagga.
Called Liberty From Violence, the grass roots charity began with staff members from the Mecure motel putting gifts for young children under a Christmas tree and has grown to a group providing immediate help to families fleeing violence.
“We are attempting to break the cycle of violence by enabling women to leave a violent situation and not have to return,” said Liberty From Violence Founder, Jenny Davis.
“If we can provide funding for travel, funding for clothes, funding for accommodation it means they are not tempted to go back into a violent situation.
“Our philosophy is to fill the gaps.
“If we find a gap we will attempt to fill it, and if the government steps in and fills it then we will find other gaps.”
Acting on requests from first responders, such as police or the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service, Liberty From Violence can provide cash, mobile telephones, food, furniture, household items and personal essentials to help people get through their immediate crisis.
“We sit in behind the services; we are support for the services and first responders,” Jenny said. “We are called in when they can’t provide the funding or the wherewithal to help a victim.”
The group can also arrange a day out on a farm for families needing a break.
All services are free of charge.
Liberty From Violence has partnered with a national organisation called Share The Dignity, which provides handbags containing feminine products and other small items, such as a hairbrush, makeup and deodorant.
“A lot of the donors will put a personal message into the handbag with words of encouragement,” Jenny said.
Liberty From Violence will expand on the handbag idea to provide larger bags containing essential items and make them available at refuges and other places women turn to when escaping family violence.
There are 16 people on the Liberty From Violence committee, including police, the court advocacy service, Wagga Family Support, two Charles Sturt University professors, business people and family violence victims.
Anyone wanting to donate to the organisation, including good quality furniture, can do so through its Facebook page.
The group will again be selling singlets at the Wagga Lake Run and Ride later this year.