8 October 2019

It's time for 'Straight Talk' on domestic violence - Eden, Merimbula, Bega

| Ian Campbell
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Marching against domestic violence, Caroline Long (centre). Photo: Caroline Long Facebook.

Marching against domestic violence, Caroline Long (centre). Photo: Caroline Long Facebook.

The community is invited to an honest and frank conversation about domestic violence as Bega Valley support services look to deepen and extend their work and influence of the last 30 years.

The SEWACS Staying Home Leaving Violence program with support from the Social Justice Advocates and the local Domestic Violence committee are hosting a series of events – ‘Straight Talk’, in order to raise awareness about domestic abuse and how the community understands and responds to it.

“For 30 years the local Domestic Violence committee has been helping women and families into safer places, that work continues, but more and more we are looking to address the bigger picture and take a more holistic approach to the issue,” says SEWACS (South East Women’s and Children’s Services) Manager, Caroline Long.

“Local services are busy, and we are only at the tip of the iceberg.

“This is real, come and listen, they’ll be something you take away.”

‘Straight Talk’ is coming to Eden, Merimbula and Bega and will showcase two short films ‘Big Bad Love’, in which comedian Becky Lucas sets out to uncover what an abusive relationship looks like and how you can help if a friend is trapped in one.


Plus a short film by Leah Purcell called ‘Young Black Chicks Talking’, which explores respectful relationships from the perspective of Aboriginal teenage girls.

A diverse panel of knowledgeable and informed speakers will add their own weight and develop the conversation.

“This is an opportunity to ask the questions you don’t dare ask and gain insight into this challenging topic,” Ms Long says.

The panel includes the author of ‘See What You Made Me Do’ Jess Hill, psychotherapist David Hollier, Headspace Bega psychologist Chris Pittolo, and local social worker and educator, Gabrielle Jones.

Questions will be asked via an online platform at each forum, one that is easily accessed on your smartphone. These questions can be asked anonymously or you can ask the old fashioned way by dropping your written question into the mailbox provided.

Local dance troupe ‘The Great Bush’ who will also perform their increasingly famous ‘Wuthering Heights’ dance. The ‘Bega Womyn’s Drummers’ led by Gabrielle Jones will join in, all with the aim of empowering women and raising awareness about domestic abuse.

“There will be some tough conversations, but that’s how we learn. We need to address bad behaviour early and know what to do when faced with it,” Ms Long says.

“You will leave knowing how to respond and what services are available locally.”

All people 15 plus are invited to attend.

‘Straight Talk’ is a free event supported by the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, Spectrum Theatre, Coles Bega, Coles Eden, Café Evolve, Candelo Books, Eden High School, Merimbula Public School, and Bega High School:

  • Eden High School Library, Thursday, October 17, 6.30 pm;
  • Merimbula Public School Library, Friday, October 18, 6.30 pm;
  • Bega High School Hall, Saturday, October 19, 6.30 pm.

If you would like more information contact Caroline Long at SEWACS on 6492 2088 or 0428 136 196.

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