18 months ago, our founder Rochelle took part in the Gold Coast Homeless Connect day. This is a special day that connects the homeless community with services they can use to assist them. It’s not just about information, there is entertainment, food stalls, personal care, all available for free to those who live in poverty and without a home.
Rochelle took a big pink plastic tub filled with free sanitary items to give to anyone that wanted them. After setting up near the hairdressing section it wasn’t long before a woman around 45 come up and sheepishly asked if she could have some. She had got her period that day and only had one tampon, one she had found on a toilet floor. When she was told that she could take as much as she needed, the woman – let’s call her Wendy, started crying. The knowledge that she could manage her period that month with dignity and comfort was overwhelming.
They got chatting and Wendy told Rochelle her story. She her two children had driven to the Gold Coast and were living in their car and that that was a much better life than the horror of the domestic violence she had lived with for 9 years.
Very naively Rochelle asked why she stayed so long and Wendy replied’ I just didn’t know where I could go, what I could do! The police had been to our home so many times.’ Sadly, a common story with domestic violence.
This sad and far too common statement led to Rochelle to an idea. Why not put the 1800RESPECT number on the inside of the tampon pack, men don’t ever look there but it something women sees once a month. Such a simple idea. We figured maybe a woman might see it once, ten times or a hundred times before they called, but at least, when there were ready. They would know just where to call to get the help they needed it.
Share the Dignity works to ensure every woman is afforded the dignity they deserve.
We know that with #itsinthebag we have created a truly special way to connect caring strangers with women in need, through the simple object of a handbag. As a result, we are so excited to announce that we have created a range of handbags of our very own for you to purchase for yourself, as a gift or to donate, with all proceeds being used to help with the vital programme we run to help women and girls in need.
Each bag will be named after one of the remarkable women for which our #itsinthebag Xmas gifts has helped.