White Ribbon Australia Community Clothes Swap Charity Event

White Ribbon Australia l Raising Awareness of Family and Domestic Violence l mum-bo-jumbo.comA woman in my local community recently turned her life upside down all in the name of charity. Cie Cole, a victim of domestic violence, hosted a community charity clothes swap event with all proceeds going to White Ribbon Australia. White Ribbon Australia is the only male led campaign with the aim to end violence against women.

Our local newspaper picked up the story and ran an article promoting the event, highlighting Cie’s experience.

White Ribbon Day Clothes Swap Charity Event l Newspaper Article l mum-bo-jumbo.com

This is what Cie said on Facebook, “I never intended to make this event and article about me and my past. It is very much about helping women and the girls who will grow up to be women in the future. The article was intended to highlight that this wonderful community charity event was being held and to maintain the continued support from local businesses and organisations. 

I am open and honest about my past relationship. It was a pretty sh!tty situation. It’s taken lots of healing by me and I still very much keep my walls up and can appear quite flippant and dismissive of my experiences. It’s a coping mechanism”.  

This is how the clothes swap charity event worked. You would clear out your wardrobe and donate items to Cie prior to the event. This could include clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories. For each item donated, you received a token. Those tokens could then be used to “buy” an item on the big day. Designer labels and formal dresses cost two tokens. Additional tokens could be purchased for a minimal fee.

In the lead up to the event, Cie’s house was literally over run with clothes. And shoes. And handbags. And accessories. With over 5,000 items in total, Cie’s house began to resemble those on the television show, Hoarders. With help from some volunteers, the items were sorted by size and category, ready to be loaded into buses to be taken to a community hall on the day of the event.

White Ribbon Day Clothes Swap Event l Hoarders l mum-bo-jumbo.com

I decided to get there early so I could get first pick. Well, I thought I was early. So did 200 other women! This is what it was like when I arrived.

White Ribbon Clothes Swap Event l The Big Day l mum-bo-jumbo.com

I managed to work my way through the crowd and although it was crowded, I managed to find some fabulous new work clothes for my new position in a library at a local primary school. I even ended up with a new pair of shoes. I was thrilled! I went, I conquered and I won!

Cie’s clothes swap charity event raised almost $1,600 for White Ribbon Day. What a fantastic effort by Cie and her marvelous group of volunteers. Not only did it help to raise a significant amount for a good cause, it helped to raise awareness about family and domestic violence. This event took months to organise and Cie certainly deserved to have some down time and relax at the end of it!

White Ribbon Australia l End of the Event - Down Time l mum-bo-jumbo.com

Domestic or Family Violence

Domestic or Family Violence refers to abuse that occurs in the home. It is normally conducted against women by their male partner however this is not always the case.

Domestic Violence can be in the form of:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Economic Abuse
  • Social Abuse
  • Spiritual Abuse

What Are the Signs of An Abusive Relationship?

Sometimes it is difficult for women to admit they are in an unhealthy relationship. Here are some of the signs of an abusive relationship:

  • Physical abuse such as punching, pinching, hair pulling, kicking, choking
  • Name calling and mind games
  • No say in joint decisions
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Withholding money
  • Intimidation
  • Damage to property

Dispelling the Myths

There is a common misconception that domestic violence doesn’t affect many Australian women and their families. In fact, a study by VicHealth found that violence against women was the leading cause of death and injury for women aged between 18 and 45.

Other common misconceptions about family and domestic violence are:

  • Only certain “type” of women are subjected to abuse
  • Drugs and alcohol are the only cause of domestic violence
  • Some people deserve to be beaten or abused
  • Domestic violence against women is an issue for women to resolve
  • Women should just leave abusive relationships
  • People with violent tendencies are mentally ill
  • There is nothing we can do as a society to prevent family violence

White Ribbon Australia

The vision of White Ribbon Australia is for “All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence”. This vision is supported by their mission of making violence against women an issue for men to deal with too. Prevention remains a priority for White Ribbon.

White Ribbon originated in Canada in 1991 and started in Australia in 2003. White Ribbon Day falls on 25 November annually. This is the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women which is promoted globally.

There are a number of ways to support White Ribbon by being an Ambassador, Advocate, Supporter or Partner. Visit White Ribbon Australia to find ways you can help.

 

Where to Get Help

Admitting you are a victim of abuse can be daunting. You may feel ashamed and overwhelmed but it is important to remember nobody deserves to be treated this way.

If you suspect you are a victim of domestic violence, or you need advice and support, please visit White Ribbon Australia for a list of list of agencies that can help you.

Photos relating to the community clothes swap event have been used with permission of the organiser Cie Cole, although they have been edited for web purposes. 

Other photos were sourced from MorgueFile

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Comments

  1. thanks for writing about such an important topic. It is starting to gain momentum although there is still a long way to go. Thank you for sharing this with us at #WednesdaysWisdom and reminding us at Domestic Violence is not acceptable.
    sue invites you to read their latest post: When Life Gives You Lemons Its Your Choice What You Do With ThemMy Profile

  2. What a fantastic result! Thanks for raising awareness on such an important issue. I love White Ribbon and the work they are doing. On the clothes swap side – these are always so much fun and I have picked up some amazing pieces at ones I have been to in the past.
    Sara | Kid Magazine invites you to read their latest post: 9 inspirational finds from EtsyMy Profile

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