ABOUT THE WHY I STAYED PROJECT Thank you so much for taking the time to complete this questionnaire in relation to Share the Dignity and The RED HEART Campaign’s planned book on survivor stories. This book is based around The RED HEART Campaign’s Why I Stayed project (http://theredheartcampaign.org/why-i-stayed). This project is Australia’s only publicly accessible archive of domestic violence survivor portraits and stories. Share the Dignity is an Australian not for profit charity that aims to support homeless and at risk women. It is hoped that the creation of this book will give strength and hope to other women who are suffering or have been victims of domestic violence. Sales of the book will contribute to the programs run by Share the Dignity including, Dignity Vending Machines, Because We Care, Activities for All and in conjunction with The RED HEART Campaign’s share of the book’s proceeds, we will ensure every domestic violence refuge, court and domestic violence support service receives copies of the book for their clients to access.
WHY SHARE YOUR STORY? We know that sharing stories of domestic violence empowers survivors while providing a creative therapeutic release via the writing process. Sharing stories also helps those who have never experienced abuse understand the intricacies of the epidemic in Australia. The stories also debunk myths (such as that age –old question ‘why doesn’t she just leave?’) and blow away pre-conceived ideas about why abuse happens and who the victims and who the perpetrators are. By putting these stories on the record, we are able to build a priceless archive that we believe is as vital to our country’s identity as the recorded stories of the nation’s war veterans. Most importantly though, these stories inspire victims, helping them to understand a life free of abuse is possible. We believe every story we publish will change, and even save, lives.
WHY THE PORTRAITS? We believe there is only one real way to get everyone in Australia on the same page about domestic violence. And that is by showing the faces of those who have been impacted by abuse. By seeing your face, readers will relate more to your story and they will understand that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate.
ABOUT YOU It is vital that you answer these questions truthfully as we need to ensure that the book, its contributors, publishers, distributors, sponsors, supporters and Share the Dignity and The RED HEART Campaign are protected from any legal ramifications. These questions are also designed to ensure that every contributor’s emotional and physical well-being is not jeopardised by the publication of their stories. The questions will also help us get a broad mix of people contributing to the project. None of the information in this form will be published. If you’re successful, The RED HEART Campaign will contact you and take you through the rest of the process.