Social Futures and Summerland Credit Union launch Dirty Laundry Day project for 2020
Social Futures and Summerland Credit Union are joining forces once again to raise awareness about domestic and family violence this White Ribbon Day.
Summerland Credit Union’s ten branches from Grafton to Coolangatta will feature Dirty Laundry Day Project displays from 20 November to 24 November 2020 to raise awareness of domestic and family violence. There will also be cards available with contact details for help and support.
The Dirty Laundry Day project is a Social Futures initiative which has been held annually in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW for more than ten years. Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies, says creating the t-shirts gives a voice to people who often suffer in silence and allows them to air their dirty laundry without fear or shame.
“The shirts are painted by women, young people and also men brave enough to share a personal message from their own experiences to raise awareness about domestic and family violence and let others know they aren’t alone.
“Over the decade Social Futures has delivered the Dirty Laundry Day Project more than 500 t-shirts have been created and designed by someone wanting to tell their story. That is a lot of stories about violence and abuse and it is a far too common issue for communities across Australia,” Mr Davies said
“Abuse is something that thrives in secrecy. It isn’t an easy topic to talk about, but it is a difficult conversation that we really need to have,” said Mr Davies.
Reported cases of domestic and family violence have escalated in Australia since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic with experts warning of a second wave of violence as additional government payments from Jobseeker and Jobkeeper are wound back.  
John Williams, CEO of Summerland Credit Union said there has never been a more important time to bring light to this issue which affects so many people in our community.
“We believe everyone has a role to play in highlighting and addressing the issue of domestic and family violence in our community. That means financial institutions, government, business and individuals alike,” Mr Williams said.
“We hope that the Dirty Laundry Day exhibitions in our branches will encourage people to think about this issue, to start conversations and hopefully, influence community attitudes around domestic violence,” Mr Williams said.
The two organisations, both White Ribbon Accredited workplaces, have created a White Ribbon Fundraiser and are banking on our community to support it. Donations can be made at any Summerland Credit Union branch or by going to https://events.whiteribbon.org.au/fundraisers/pamelasinclair or dirtylaundryday.org.au
For information about how to get involved with the Dirty Laundry Day Project go to dirtylaundryday.org.au or connect on Facebook or Instagram.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, there is help available.
Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on 1800 600 636. In an emergency call 000.
 University of Melbourne social work professor Cathy Humphreys said additional payments from the Australian Government, including JobKeeper and JobSeeker, had been “absolutely crucial” in helping women and children escape the “shadow pandemic” of domestic violence. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-07/experts-warn-second-wave-of-domestic-violence-during-coronavirus/12732100