With May promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month, registered charity Next Steps Australia has partnered with apparel retailer Best & Less to raise funds for survivors of domestic and family violence in Australia, including in Hume and Whittlesea.
One in four Australian women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, which may lead to them fleeing their home and seeking alternative accommodation.
When escaping domestic and family violence, most survivors (overwhelmingly women and children) are forced to leave their homes with few possessions.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone and can come across in any form, including physical, verbal, emotional or financial abuse. It occurs in all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
Next Steps Australia was created in 2016 after founder and chairperson Bernadette Blair realized the desperate need for basic manchester items to be provided to people and families who are forced to leave their homes due to domestic violence.
By partnering with Best & Less, Next Steps Australia has raised $149,182 to provide basic manchester items to women and children who have left domestic and family violence home situations, so as to help alleviate the financial stress of establishing independent lives.
Fully funded by individual, corporate and philanthropic donors, trusts and grants, board members and those on the support team are all volunteers and receive no financial remuneration.
“We are thrilled and delighted with the results and extend our thanks to the Best & Less staff and community,” says Next Steps Australia chairperson, Bernadette Blair.
“The money raised will be spent on providing one mother and one child with a manchester starter pack for every day of the year – that means Best & Less will be supporting 730 survivors of domestic violence around Australia. The packs will be distributed to selected refuges in each state and territory in Australia.”
With family at the core of values shared by Next Steps Australia and Best & Less, this is reflected through the value of the relationship and the funds that have resulted due to this partnership.
“We want to help these families on their next steps to an independent life, feeling valued and confident again, as they deserve,” says Best & Less head of marketing, Janine Van Deventer.