Group rally to assemble bags of hope for local DV victims
KNITTING together strands of hope and care, Zonta Club of Hervey Bay wants to show Fraser Coast domestic violence victims they have not been forgotten during the coronavirus health crisis.
Zonta volunteer and Knit4Charities Hervey Bay co-ordinator Pauline Derich has been busy putting together dignity bags with personal items for women who have to flee a domestic violence situation with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing.
"There has been an increase in the number of these bags being handed out since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced," Ms Derich said.
"I make these bags up for Zonta and they give them to CentaCare.
"As long as I'm helping people, that makes me happy to know I'm supporting somebody."
The dignity bags are also given out to the homeless.
The bags contain tissues, washers, personal items, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.
Zonta picked up 50 bags last week. The club usually gives out 400 to 500 bags each year.
Zonta Club of Hervey Bay vice-president Robin Rayner said government and community agencies had raised concerns the COVID-19 pandemic would increase the incidences of domestic violence in an environment where services could be restricted due to conditions imposed to control the virus.
"Despite these lockdown rules, club members have continued to meet virtually by Zoom and to prepare the dignity bags at home with support from others in the community," Ms Rayner said.