Most of us are staying home these days and doing the right thing to help slow the spread of the virus. It is such a great effort by everyone and I’m so proud to be an Australian in times like this.
However, this is also not without its challenges. For me, I have always relied on getting myself out there to the community and schools to raise awareness on stopping domestic violence. Now all my speaking engagements are either cancelled or postponed.
But this is not the end of the world. I know I can still do what I do and I just needed to be more creative and learn how to make use of technology better. In this blog, I will share with you what I have been doing to get my voice out there even as I am physically stuck at home.
I’m relying more on online video conferencing technology than ever before. Zoom is fast becoming my best friend and I have used it to connect with a group of DV survivors up in Queensland recently. It was such an amazing experience talking to these people and offering encouragement to each other as we get through this crisis together.
Facebook Messenger is also becoming an important tool for me. I receive regular messages from victims and it is a great way for me to be able to offer assistance to people in need. For example, a lady left me a message recently from Airlie Beach and she is living in a car because she has got nowhere to go. It is heart breaking and I was glad to be able to point her the right direction to seek assistance.
Podcast interview is another way for me to reach out to different audience. Podcasts are becoming more popular and I have always enjoyed speaking to different podcast interviewers who have got such varying types of audience.
I did my first ever Instagram live the other day with a skincare company called Biologi, where they invited their followers to ask me questions about my story. It was a great opportunity to share with them what DV is about. In addition, the company is donating all their profits back to Rize Up, which I’m an ambassador for, and that just makes it even more amazing.
I am also collaborating with campaigns such as Hairdressers with Hearts and the Red Rose Foundation to reach out to their followers from all walks of lives and in different ways to raise awareness on DV.
It is all about staying connected in different ways and with different groups. I realise it doesn’t have to be a domestic violence foundation, it can be anything from a hairdressers group to skincare companies. Who would have thought that a skincare range would be connecting out to domestic violence, but they can be, and it is up to us to work together to make it happen.
We all know that isolation isn’t good for a lot of people. Victims that are isolated actually can’t run away from their perpetrators. In the last week alone, we have lost five women, five women in seven days. It is not on and it is not just younger women but older women above 60 are affected as well. It is ALL ages. And as I write this, we have already lost 21 women in total for the year. That is 21 too many.
I want to encourage everyone not to let isolation stop us from getting our voice out there. You can still do your bit to spread the word via social media or by connecting with your neighbour and looking out for each other. Don’t be bystanders, ring triple O if you think something is wrong. Even if you think it is minor, even if it is only swearing, it is a red flag and the phone call might save somebody’s life.
We need to continue working together.