Project tackles violence head on

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The Hobart Women’s Shelter has launched a new bystander project focused on preventing all forms of violence following a successful grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF).

Delivered in partnership with Engender Equality, Women’s Health Tasmania and the Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program is an exciting new leadership program that views all participants as empowered bystanders who can confront, interrupt or prevent violence.

Hobart Women’s Shelter Chief Executive Officer Janet Saunders said the program will hugely benefit the Tasmanian community.

“The Mentors in Violence Prevention Project will be important for the whole community as it seeks to enlist all people in helping to end violence in our communities by equipping them with the skills to be effective bystanders,” she said.

“We expect to be able to begin delivering the program workshops by September 2020 and will deliver 50 workshops state-wide over a three-year period.

“The workshops will give participants the chance to develop and practice concrete options which they can use in a number of situations, ranging from the rather harmless-seeming to actual violence.”

Ms Saunders said the Hobart Women’s Shelter and partner organisations were delighted to receive the TCF funding, as it would have a positive impact on the organisations, their supporters, and the general community.

“While we are pleased that the TCF could see the worth of the project, we believe that the fact we were able to demonstrate the whole-of-community benefit was another major factor in gaining grant support,” she said.

“We believe we presented a good business case with clear budgeting protocols that highlighted the value of the program to the community as a whole.”

TCF Chair Sally Darke applauded the initiative taken by the Hobart Women’s Shelter and partnering organisations.

“It’s great to see a community centred project take shape to equip people to tackle a prevalent issue in our society – we are confident this will make a real impact in the Tasmanian community,” she said

The TCF recently announced a COVID-19 Response Round to specifically help support, connect and rebuild Tasmanian community organisations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our communities are evolving, and the Tasmanian community is committed to enabling projects and programs that meet the changing needs of our communities,” Ms Darke said.

“Improving community wellbeing and health is certainly one of those areas.”