Bentley: Zonta House receives funds for anti-domestic violence program

Bentley: Zonta House receives funds for anti-domestic violence program

BENTLEY-based Zonta House has received a $10,000 community-funding grant to enable the expansion of an anti-domestic violence program.

Zonta House provides support services to women who have experienced family and domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness and any other crisis, enabling them with the opportunity to make safe and sustainable life choices.

The education program, titled Positive Pathways, will be rolled out across high schools throughout the southern suburbs with the aim of breaking the cycle of domestic and family violence.

The grant was awarded by legal agency Slater and Gordon.

A survivor of family violence, who suffered years of abuse from her husband and eventually her son, has praised the program.

The woman, identified as Ms T, said had a similar program been available while her children were at school, they would have had access to the help and support they needed.

“Unfortunately, my children were born into a hostile home, growing up around physical and emotional abuse with no support to get out,” she said.

“After years of witnessing a volatile relationship, my son started lashing out in the only way he knew how; through violence.”

Ms T said the Positive Pathways program would provide children with a safe place to seek help.

“Not only is it important for children to understand violence is not an acceptable behaviour, they must also have a safe environment where they can report it and access the support they need,” she said.

“I am hopeful that this program will help break the cycle of family violence and give these children the best chance at a happy and healthy future.”

Zonta House chief executive Kelda Oppermann said the Positive Pathways program aimed to educate students about family violence and to let them know it is okay to speak up.

“Children often feel comfortable among their school peers which is why it is important for a program like this to be rolled out in a safe space,” she said.

“The program will engage students through practical elements including art classes to produce artworks encouraging positivity and strength which will be donated to women’s homes and the refuge as well as various fundraising campaigns within their school community.”