Why Dirty Laundry Day?

Our Dirty Laundry Day Project began in Northern NSW in 2009. It was created to draw attention to domestic and family violence in the community, to give people experiencing abuse and violence a voice, and to take a strong community stance against violence. 

The Project achieves multiple objectives:

  • it raises awareness, educates, and challenges core beliefs in our communities about domestic and family violence. It is a visible call for cultural change.
  • it allows conversations to begin within our communities, helps communities to understand the experiences of people who have been through abuse, and encourages community support for the safety and wellbeing of children.
  • it sends a strong message to perpetrators that violence will not be tolerated in our communities.
  • is an early intervention strategy, and can help to create more cohesive communities.
  • it connects service providers, the community and people who have experienced domestic violence allowing for networking and information sharing.
  • it is a cathartic and empowering process for people who have experienced domestic and family abuse and violence.

How does it do this? 

In a number of ways. Firstly, we work with community organisations who are supporting people affected by abuse and violence. We help those organisations to run workshops with their clients who have experienced abuse violence, where they can come together in a safe, supported environment, and paint messages onto T-Shirts about their experiences. Participants may also like to write a story or poem to go along with their t-shirt. 
 
Feedback from our past participants is very positive. Many say that being among others who have experienced trauma through domestic and family violence and abuse is very healing. They feel less isolated and more supported. Writing a personal message onto a t-shirt, which will later be displayed in shopfronts throughout their community, is empowering and gives people a voice. 

Which brings us to the next bit. The T-Shirts, along with any stories or poems are then displayed in businesses and shop fronts throughout town next to information posters about the project and where to go to seek help locally. 

Displaying T-shirts with messages from members of our own communities who have experienced domestic violence allows their voices to be heard. Seeing messages which have been written by local people is very impacting and can promote discussion among our community on what is often considered a shameful and private subject.

Because each campaign is locally focused, the project has great capacity to draw people together and unite community behind the cause.  

Getting down to business

We also work with businesses and organisations, increasing awareness throughout our business community about the impacts of domestic and family violence and abuse and the role they can play to address it.

You might wonder why opening up a dialogue about an uncomfortable topic like domestic and family violence is a good thing to do in the workplace - there are actually lots of good reasons why businesses should be educated and proactive in this space. 

Firstly out of care for the well-being of employees. This also improves staff safety and morale and in turn can create a positive work culture. It can help to increase productivity, aid in reducing staff turnover and absenteeism, and increase staff retention. 

Taking a stand against violence and putting in place measures to support any affected staff can also promote staff pride in their workplace and can help make organisations an employer of choice.

We also know that businesses can play a tangible role in assisting an employee to transition out of domestic violence. For some people experiencing abuse and violence in the home, their place of work may be their only solace and place of safety. Paid work can also enable survivors to leave violent and abusive relationships and family situations. 

If you are interested in learning more about our work with businesses and organisations, please contact us at info@dirtylaundryday.org.au 

Acknowledgment

We would like to acknowledge the work and passion of Niki Gill and the Casino Neighbourhood Centre for their work in creating the Dirty Laundry Day Project ten years ago. Social Futures has been proud to expand upon your vision over the past eight years. 

We would also like to thank our supporter QBE Insurance whose generous support helped fund the creation of this website.