By Bev Jordan
Hills Police Commander Superintendent Darrin Batchelor was one of several police officers who had purple nail varnish painted on the ring finger of their left hand last week.
The Purple Nail Tribe project was created by Aileen Mountifield, founder of the Lisa Harnum Foundation, to spark conversation about domestic violence all year round.
Supt Batchelor said at lunch that day everyone was asking why his nail was painted purple.
“It did spark a lot of conversations about domestic violence which is good,” he told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News. Aileen Mountifield said: “The Purple Nail Tribe was created to provide an ongoing conversation and awareness regarding the issue of domestic violence/abuse.
“It is non-productive to have one or two weeks in November, to focus on the issues surrounding D,V then complete silence for the rest of the year. We have an epidemic in Australia so let’s highlight it,” she said.
“The main objective is for men to agree to wear purple nail varnish on the ring finger of their left hand, to signify their commitment in being a part of ending DV and creating a conversation with others.”
Last week the Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Network held an online rose ceremony to remember the 37 women killed by a former partner or partner in this year in Australia.
Supt Darrin Batchelor said he realised more needed to be done after he lead the investigation into the murder of 31-year-old Rachelle Yeo by her former lover on the Northern Beaches in 2012.
“There were so many missed opportunities for people to do something,” he said. “In the weeks leading up to her murder she had spoken to her friends, she had spoken to her boss about her fears and she had gone to see a clinical psychologist worried about being stalked.”
He said despite all the concerns, no report was ever made to the police. “We have to get the community to recognise the signs and report it.”
He said The Hills PAC would be placing confirmed constables on a six week rotation with the domestic violence team of four full-time officers at Castle Hill.
“Educating our junior police is a priority, it’s beneficial to the police and the community and to DV victims as well.”
Aileen said 2021 had seen an increase in women seeking help.
“This year has been quite busy with referrals coming through other agencies and court. In the Hills, typically the type of abuse that we see is emotional, psychological, financial, isolation, stalking and harassment.
The Lisa Harnum Foundation has a safe room at both Rouse Hill Town Centre and at Castle Towers where a counsellor will meet with someone needing to talk about domestic abuse.
For more information about LHF services call 1300 732 848. To take the pledge go to www.purplenailtribe.com