MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR WOMEN
We are in awe of the work being done by Kathy Kaplan, the founder and director of our mask charity Impact for Women and her team…their compassion and care of women and children in the greatest need right now is humbling and we’re grateful to Kathy for taking the time to share her thoughts with our community.
Impact for Women is…
A completely volunteer run charity making a difference to women and children fleeing extreme violence at home. We honour those who have lost their lives at the hands of a ‘loved one’ and we celebrate and support those who survive. While we’re a charity, we don’t give charity; we give gifts and services with dignity and we give dignity with gifts and services.
Tell us about the impact of Covid19 on women experiencing domestic violence…
For the women lucky enough to be in a Safe House, the support they receive from their Case Workers has been diminished due to COVID working restrictions. For the women still in isolation with their abusers, it is unbearable.
What more can we do as a community to help reduce domestic violence?
In my opinion, it all comes down to respect. Everyone deserves to live without fear, especially without fear from someone who once said, ‘I love you’. When we all commit to treating each and every person, regardless of who they are, with respect, even if we disagree with them, then I think we’ll be on the way to reducing family violence.
May I add that if someone discloses something horrible to you, the first thing that should come out of your mouth should be, ‘I believe you’ followed immediately by, ‘I’m here for you’. ‘Being there’ means listening, supporting, finding resources and support services and remaining non-judgemental of their decisions.
How are you working with The Ark to get much needed face masks to women?
Due to the generosity of your customers, over 4000 masks have been sent out to the Safe Houses we look after to distribute to women and children. Thank you Ark community!
We love your positivity…how important is it to keep being optimistic and hopeful when you’re dealing with such a difficult issue?
It’s not always easy to be positive, is it? But it’s important to maintain an optimistic view for the future. My mother is a holocaust survivor and she always taught me that ’this too shall pass’. To make a difference to someone’s life every day (even if it’s a smile to a stranger; and in these times, make sure you smile with your eyes) and remember that most people are good and caring. I try to live with those thoughts at the forefront of my mind.
Please visit impactforwomen.org.au to learn more or make a donation.