Corrective Services join police to raise domestic violence awareness

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) have joined forces to install a bright red bench in central Rockhampton to encourage the community to take a stand against domestic violence.

The bench in Rockhampton is one of many to be placed around Queensland as part of an initiative by the national, not-for-profit Red Rose Foundation, which works to end domestic violence.

The aim of the benches is to provide a presence in public spaces that is a permanent reminder of domestic and family violence in our communities as well as raising public awareness and keep this important issue visible in communities.

QCS Community Corrections District Manager Warren Williams said the red bench project was a great opportunity for QCS to be involved in as many prisoners were perpetrators of domestic and family violence, and more than 80 per cent of women prisoners identified as survivors of violence.

“When we heard about the Red Rose initiative, we just knew QCS should be involved,” Mr Williams said.

“Rockhampton Community Corrections worked together with Capricornia Correctional Centre (CCC), where prisoners manufactured the red bench, and QPS, who installed the bench at Cameron’s Corner, a highly visible public area with a memorial to fallen police officers.

“This is a great example of top-tier public safety agencies working together on a project which aims to raise awareness of domestic violence as well as prevent the creation of future victims.”

CCC General Manager Paula May said the manufacture of the bench had given prisoners an opportunity to return something to the community, as well as develop skills which may be useful in finding a job on release from custody.

Red Rose Foundation Chief Executive Officer Betty Taylor said the red bench was designed to stop people in their tracks and create a permanent reminder of domestic violence.

“We aim to have 100 benches installed across the country before Christmas and we’re pleased to have this bench placed so publicly in Rockhampton,” Ms Taylor said.

“Each bench bears a plaque supplied by the foundation that reads ‘Domestic violence — let’s change the ending’, which we hope will encourage discussion that makes a difference.”

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