By Bev Jordan
If you wonder why you are seeing men in the Hills with one purple fingernail it is because they want to start a conversation about domestic violence and talk about how to end the epidemic.
The Purple Nail Tribe campaign has been launched this month by the Lisa Harnum Foundation to encourage men to pledge to help end domestic abuse and the silence surrounding it.
Last week Hills Police Commander Supt Jason Joyce joined CHRG CEO David O’Neil, Sydney Hills Business Chamber manager Richard Holland and Rotarian Alex Hezari to have the ring finger of their left-hand painted purple by Aileen Mountifield, founder of the Lisa Harnum Foundation.
Recent statistics report one woman a week is dying due to domestic and family violence.
Figures from The Hills Police Area Command show that police were called out to 111 Domestic Violence related assaults in the first 3 months of this year.
Aileen Mountifield, executive director and founder of the Lisa Harnum Foundation said numbers are much worse than those reported, with incidents of coercive control and non-physical domestic abuse unreported.
“Coercive Control is non-physical abuse that involves controlling behaviours such as threats and intimidation, deprivation and duress, verbal abuse and manipulation,” she said.
“It is not uncommon for coercive control to lead to physical harm, and sadly, the Hills has a terrifying number of women experiencing just that. “
Supt Jason Joyce said: “Domestic violence is such a priority for The Hills PAC that I have increased the number of police focused solely on domestic violence from one officer to three officers in the last 12 months.
“Later this year that will increase to 4 officers in the DV team. We will continue to work strongly towards reducing the impact of domestic violence on the community.”
The Lisa Harnum Foundation runs three safe rooms in local shopping centres (Rouse Hill Town Centre, Castle Towers and Macquarie Centre) where counsellors can arrange to meet women to offer advice and help.
“Our vision is for all women and children to live safely – free from fear and from violence. The only way to do this is to shed light on the epidemic our community is facing,” said Aileen.
Supt Jayson Joyce said: “I strongly believe it is the responsibility of every man to call out domestic violence and protect the victims of domestic violence.
“It is a very important subject that we all need to talk about and take responsibility for changing attitudes towards domestic violence.”
Richard Holland said he had been shocked by the reports of women dying as a result of domestic abuse. “It’s absolutely abhorrent.
“The Purple Nail Tribe initiative gives the issue visibility. It just creates that conversation. “
The Lisa Harnum Foundation is also hoping to raise $10 a pledge to expand its counselling services. For details visit lisahf.org.au
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