Hello, I recently attended a very thought provoking press event held by the Body Shop as part of their 2020 Christmas Campaign. I will definitely be writing more about the beautiful gift offerings from the Body Shop this year, but I felt so moved by what was discussed at the event that I have decided to do a separate article first about a very important and serious topic. That of Female Homelessness.
Sadly, we do still see homeless people on the streets, or tucked away in some obscure corner, but this is just one face of homelessness. Often the image of homelessness that first comes to mind is that of the homeless man sitting on the corner begging for spare change. Yet, data shows that 61% those who used homelessness services during Jan - Jun 2020 were women.
These women are often fleeing abusive relationships where there have been domestic or family violence. Last year, 52% of those seeking assistance were accompanied by children.
There are so many issues to discuss here that I honestly find it hard to start. One shocking fact I learnt was that 46% of Australians actually believe that homelessness is a result of poor lifestyle choices. Goodness. Poor lifestyle choices? You must be kidding.
Another startling fact is that every 2 mins, the police are called to cases about domestic violence against women. This is only a small percentage of cases reported. In 2020, we have experienced lockdowns for months on end due to Covid-19. Can you imagine how hard it must be for those women trapped in such abusive relationships to be "locked in" with the perpetrators? I can't even. Stuck with a monster. An AIC Survey stated that "8.8% of women cohabitiing domestic relationship experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner in the three months prior to 2020. That's 8.8% too much.
With Covid-19, female unemployment and domestic violence cases are on the rise.
At the event, we heard from a panel comprising of Siala (rising singer-songwriter); Jess Hill (Australian journalist and author of "See What You Made Me Do", a four year investigative book on domestic abuse) and a representative from Legal Aid (I thought her name was Anna Bolton but I have to fact check this and will update this accordingly).
The Body Shop has teamed up with Siala, that some of you may remember from The Voice Australia, to produce a new cover of Crystal Waters' iconic 90s anthem "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)". Siala has lived in a women's shelter with her mum and five siblings, after suffering domestic and family violence. You can imagine, just how raw the emotions are for her when discussing this topic. She is courageously using her platform to make a positive change in those experiencing the issue.
The topics discussed during the panel session touched and triggered a few raw nerves around the room. I could feel it. Having come from an abusive home, the palpable negative energy in the room made me want to shrink into my chair (that was my coping mechanism whenever my parents "got to it", i.e. the threats of violence, I'm going to kill you etc. My response was "Hide, block, disappear, get as small and unnoticeable as possible"). I felt very sorry for some of the women in the room that I could tell were visibly triggered. Women I admire that I didn't even think such things could happen to. That's the thing with women you see, they bear it and hide it and SO YOU MUST ASK IF CARE. And yes, I do care.
Abuse comes in different forms. You can see the physical abuse but can only guess at the emotional abuse, but that doesn't make it any less of a form of abuse. Gas lighting, isolation from friends and families. There is also financial abuse where the perpetrator could be defrauding the woman from her earnings, her savings and even that of her own family. I think you get the sense of it. I often regret not asking a friend of mine who just dropped out of our social circle when she started a relationship with a man who clearly thought very little of us, whether he was making her feel bad. She was my best friend. One minute, we shared everything, the next, "oh I can't see you anymore".
Lots of think about. Thinking is great but action is better. This year, in addition to collaborating with Siala. The Body Shop has also partnered with Launch Housing in the bid to raise awareness about female homelessness.
Launch Housing is an independent Melbourne community organisation that is committed to ending homelessness. They provide everything from high-quality housing to a range of support, education and employment services. To learn more about Launch Housing and to make a donation, go to:
From October 26th to December 25th 2020, The Body Shop will be donating a portion of profits ($0.03) from every purchase to Launch Housing, to a maximum of $35,000, providing immediate financial assistance to women and children to act against homelessness, domestic violence and gender equality.
Scan the QR code above to listen to Siala's version of Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless).
You can listen to a short excerpt by clicking on the video below (apologies for the low quality, I only had my iPhone with me at the time).
So this Christmas, I do hope you will do something about this. Make a donation, talk about the issue to raise awareness and ask.
^Facts/statistic quoted above were provided by The Body Shop and sourced from:
SHS monthly data
ABS census 2016 held on 9th August 2016
So I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. I'm pretty much on my social media platforms in some way or fashion 7 days a week. I hope you enjoyed this review.
我希望这篇文章有用！ 谢谢你的阅读。 我几乎每天都在社交媒体上，所以请订阅我的社交媒体平台！
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