BERLEI & AUSTRALIAN FASHION DESIGNERS UNITE TO SUPPORT WOMEN IN NEED
"Our work is always challenging when we hear the stories of abuse and violence told by our women and children. Last year one of our colleagues was murdered as a direct result of ongoing violence. The impact of her death has caused me personally to be even more pro-active in information sharing of Domestic Violence. I could write for hours about fear, abuse, violence, homelessness and grief and on and on. I have difficulty choosing even one case...as my mind is moving from the child with the broken bones to our client who almost successfully suicided because the violence in her life did not stop just because she was in a safe house. It followed her."
Domestic Violence Worker, 'Southern Domestic Violence Service', SA
As part of Berlei's ongoing commitment to supporting and understanding women's needs, Berlei announced that they will be raising awareness and financial support for the plight of Women's Shelters in Australia.
Berlei recognise that Women's shelters are responsible for saving and nurturing many women that desperately need assistance. Given there is extensive and debilitating problems amongst women which include domestic violence, homelessness, sexual, verbal, physical and drug abuse, Berlei aim to highlight the struggles these women encounter and highlight the need for greater public recognition.
Australia's top designers have teamed together with Berlei to raise as much awareness and support for the benefit of Australian shelters.
Four of Australia's top designers - Akira Isogawa, Easton Pearson, Rebecca Davies and Natasha Ivachoff for 'Pigs in Space' have been inspired by the cause and will be raising money by adding their designer 'touch' to the newly launched Berlei 'Oilala' bra. These 'Designer' bras will be later auctioned online, the money raised being donated to selected Women's Shelters throughout Australia.
For every five Berlei bras sold within their partner retail stores for two weeks, from 28 October through till the 10th November 2001, Berlei will donate a product from the Berlei range to Women's Shelters around Australia. Not only will women in need be 'well supported' by Berlei bras, but staff in Sydney will be doing all they can to help by volunteering their services to Women's Shelter groups.
"Many of these shelters require financial assistance to provide facilities and security for homeless women and women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. By raising awareness and support for this activity, Berlei hope that others will come to realise how serious the situation is for some women and contribute in any humanly way possible," says Tanya Deans, Marketing Manager for Berlei.BACKGROUND ON WOMEN'S SHELTERS IN AUSTRALIA
Women's Shelters throughout Australia have escalated to a point of paramount concern, reaching crisis point primarily through lack of government funding. This has meant that many women and their children are forced to stay in violent and abusive situations, homeless women with nowhere to go end up back on the streets and drug abuse victims without rehabilitation end up back on the road to eventual death.
A Woman's Shelter is a place of shelter, safety, support, and care for women and their children who are in serious need of any assistance and have no place to turn. The services provided by Women's Shelters vary and they cater more specifically to women affected by homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse.
Women's Shelters work tirelessly to provide services to victims which generally includes; supported accommodation, clothing, outreach support services (visiting homes), counselling, culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive support and referral, information and referral to various other groups and services, support with legal matters, medical and health assistance and rehabilitation programs, assistance with securing financial benefits and pension, and obtaining safe and secure housing for victims of domestic violence when they feel they are ready to move back into society.
Berlei's charity program has already received a great response from Women's Shelters nationally;
"One of the most important needs our clients have is to feel good about themselves after years of being told they're: 'no good' 'fat' 'ugly' 'terrible cook' 'lousy mother' 'hopeless in bed', etc. As a service we endeavour to build up their self-image in various ways, such as gifts of perfume, powders, etc, as well as teaching new skills...we see Berlei's offer to be a wonderful morale and image booster for the clients that use our service"
Manager, 'Jireh House', TAS
"Unfortunately we continue to experience an increase in demand for services from our client group each year and Berlei's donation will be very much appreciated by the clients who receive them......It is reassuring to know that community spirit is alive and well - particularly when such generosity emanates from the business sector."
Manager, 'Northern Domestic Violence Service', SA
By promoting awareness of the problems women face in today's society and the role of Women's Shelters throughout Australia, Berlei aims to bring to light the increased struggle that is becoming imminently worse.