Since spending a day in a domestic violence crisis service for this Daily Life story I have not been able to go in to a Target store without thinking of one woman.
Of the many stories I documented while I was there, one was of a mother, her daughter and grandchild. They had just fled from an abusive partner and were hiding out in the loading bay at their local Target store.
All they had on them were the clothes on their backs, a baby bag and whatever they had in their handbags.
I could hear her voice. It was not clear or distinct but soft through the phone line.
What she was saying was not for my ears, what was though was the faint sound of her voice to remind me she was real and not just another story.
Right now one of the biggest challenges facing her was shelter, food and nappies.
After that article was published I was contacted by charity group The Nappy Collective. They were holding a writers forum in Melbourne and hosting a talk from Rosie Batty and Det Supt Rod Jouning of Victoria Police.
I went along and filed this podcast on it for The Wire.
The Forum was in February and I will never forget Rosie Batty repeating over and over, it’s time to get feisty.
You can hear a bit of her talk here.
It was a great initiative and writers brought together that night are still writing and collaborating on this issue.
I’ll admit when I was first contacted by The Nappy Collective I had no idea who they were. Despite the fact I had been a board member of a DV Service for a few years and written extensively on the subject the work they were doing went completely under my radar.
Yet when I looked in to who they are and what they do my immediate response was – brilliant.
As founder Sarah Jacobs says, what they do is “a tangible way to help and is accessible.”
You can hear what she said on the night about why she started the Collective.
They’re collecting and distributing unused disposable nappies for mothers in crisis.
And they’re proving it really is the small things that matter some times.
When I did a call out for perishable food and pamper products for the local women’s shelter at my son’s small – just 60 families – community school the response was overwhelming. We stocked up the shelter’s pantry with three meals a day for three months.
People want to help when there is a crisis.
According to The Nappy Collective website in just two years they have collected over 470,000 nappies, helping 95 charities to distribute them to families across Australia.