Council unveils symbolic purple benches

Published on Friday, 25 November 2022 at 8:30:00 AM

Encouraging change through education, motivation and advocacy to stop violence against women is the aim of active support by the Shire of Dardanup for this year’s 16 Days in WA campaign.

Ahead of the campaign launch on 25 November, the Shire of Dardanup committed to The Purple Bench Project by unveiling three bright and symbolic new purple benches in Eaton.

Installing purple benches in public parks to honour the memory of women killed as a result of family and domestic violence started in Canada 25 years ago and has caught on in Australia and around WA with many local governments showing support.

Information and messaging designed to educate, motivate and advocate on the issue will be shared across Shire of Dardanup communications channels during the 16 Days in WA campaign.

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said there had been a necessary increase in attention to family and domestic violence in recent times as well as recognition of the role Local Governments could play in shaping the culture and attitudes of their communities through services and initiatives run at a local level. 

“As the closest level of government to the community, local governments are uniquely positioned to have these conversations with our community and to help raise awareness about initiatives to reduce violence against women,” Cr Bennett said.

Police statistics show WA recently recorded a 10-year high in reported incidents of domestic violence, mirroring national trends which saw spikes in FDV associated with the pandemic and particularly extended periods of lockdown.

This year’s 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign calls on everyone in the community to play a role in calling out violence and bad behaviour.

While not all disrespect leads to violence, all violence starts with disrespect.

The initiative was started by the Labour State Government in 2017 and aims to raise awareness, motivate positive action and highlight organisations, agencies, communities and individuals taking action to end violence against women.


24-hour helplines

If it’s not an emergency and you need support, you can call these numbers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are assisting someone who does not speak English, first call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50. They can connect you with the service of your choice and interpret for you.

  • 1800RESPECT National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service: a national telephone and online counselling and referral service. Phone: 1800 737 732.
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline: provides telephone information and referrals for men who are concerned about their violent and abusive behaviours, and for male victims of family and domestic violence in Western Australia. Phone: 1800 000 599.
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline: provides support for women, with or without children, who are experiencing family and domestic violence in Western Australia (including referrals to women’s refuges). Phone: 1800 007 339.
  • Crisis Care: provides Western Australia’s after-hours response to reported concerns for a child’s safety and wellbeing and information and referrals for people experiencing crisis. Phone: 1800 199 008.
  • MensLine Australia: 24/7 support for men and boys dealing with family and relationship difficulties. Support for men who are concerned that their behaviour is hurting the people they care about. Phone: 1300 78 99 78.
  • Sexual Assault Resource Centre: provides a range of free services to people affected by sexual violence. Phone: (08) 6458 1828 or free call 1800 199 888.

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