IT is difficult to comprehend how traumatic it would be as a child to witness the death of your mother in a domestic violence assault.
But that was the reality for two young West Australian children now in foster care when their parent was killed in front of them more than two years ago.
This was one incident that left police considering how difficult a family-orientated time such as Christmas must be for children who have been removed from distressing situations at home.
As a result, WA Police launched Operation Blue Santa in 2013 with the aim of ensuring children in metropolitan refuges and emergency care had presents for Christmas.
The two children who witnessed the death of their mother were among the first to benefit from the program.
Police spokeswoman Susan Usher said, among other things, officers donated cash, gifts and vouchers.
“As officers deal regularly with crisis situations involving children exposed to DV, they see first-hand the effects of such behaviours on the children,” she said.
Consideration was given for special-needs children with gifts tailored to their physical and cognitive abilities. Since the first charity drive, more than 350 children have received gift bags.
Telstra provides mobile phones and credit vouchers for teenage residents, while State Super Financial Services Australia provides office space for gift-wrapping.
Telstra Area General Manager Mike Read said the phones provided a link to ensure the youths could contact relatives and police if needed.
Ms Usher said with a shortage of gifts for teenage residents, vouchers or cash, which would be used to a buy a gift, would be appreciated.
Gift drop-off points
Donations accepted until December 15
WA Police Academy
Peppermint Green café, Joondalup