Donated essentials provide comforts to those fleeing domestic violence

ESSENTIALS: Red Cross volunteers Helen Eccleston and Nerida Kelly with 24 handbags filled with tolietries and essentials for women fleeing domestic violence. Photo: Declan Rurenga
ESSENTIALS: Red Cross volunteers Helen Eccleston and Nerida Kelly with 24 handbags filled with tolietries and essentials for women fleeing domestic violence. Photo: Declan Rurenga

Cootamundra’s Red Cross will donate 24 handbags filled with essentials to help women who are escaping domestic violence.

Red Cross volunteers Helen Eccleston and Nerida Kelly organised the donations which had come from the community.

Mrs Eccleston said handbags would be distributed by community health workers to women’s refuges in the district.

She said when women fled violent relationships they often had little time to pack what they needed.

In the bags are toothbrushes, a bar of soap, comb and other essentials.

“It helps her realise there are people out there who care about her,” Mrs Eccleston said.

“We’re extremely grateful to the community for their continuing support.”

Mrs Kelly said the simply act of gathering toiletries and a bag to put them in meant a lot to people who use them.

“We all love helping the community but particularly women who are in danger,” Mrs Kelly said.

“They sometimes leave with nothing so it’s good to have a little luxury, and pampering in their hour of need.”

Mrs Eccleston said domestic and family violence was a tough topic and people weren’t aware of the support that was available for them.

That support is essential for people to escape danger and find safety.

“It’s not just women are who are victims, it’s the children, they see the violence and it’s written into their brains forever,” Mrs Eccleston said.

Domestic and family violence is more than physical violence but can be emotional, social, financial or even sexual.

“Domestic violence affects men as well, however the vast majority of victims are women and children, and most of the people killed by their current or former partners are women,” Mrs Eccleston said.

Additional bags and donations can be left at the Red Cross shop.

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