T-shirt display raising awareness of family violence

October 2015

Family violence is a violation of human rights and affects an unacceptable number of women in the community, with one woman killed nearly every week in Australia. This staggering statistic is just one reason why awareness needs to be raised on this important issue.

The ‘Counting Women’ T-Shirt Project is a student driven initiative started by students in March 2015 studying community services courses at Chisholm. Designed to build understanding and raise awareness, the project started after Chisholm’s successful Time to Change community forum earlier in the year, with guest speaker Australian of the Year Rosie Batty.

Following such an important and thought provoking discussion, the students saw the need to raise this issue in the community and the ‘Counting Women’ project came to fruition. The display uses t-shirts to represent and respect each woman killed violently in Australia in 2015.

‘Highlighting this topical issue is of critical importance to all members of our community and we see family violence not just a personal issue - but a community one. We want this project to be an important representation of this serious topic and ensure our community understands the impact it causes’, explains Dr Ilsa Evans Group Coordinator of Community Services.

The notable project has been an important assignment for the Diploma of Community Services students undertaking the ‘Promote Community Awareness of Domestic and Family Violence’ elective. By challenging the students throughout their studies to appreciate and understand the complex issues surrounding family violence the students are able to understand and continue the conversation around the causes and contexts of violence against women – ‘this course has inspired us all’ explains one student.

Housed at our Frankston campus, each t-shirt also displays the individual’s details where it is possible to do so, using the colour red to visualise those who were killed by their partners and ex-partners. This t-shirt display is complemented with relevant posters, newspaper articles, a glass cabinet full of resources, and a blackboard updated with the current count (66).   

Utilising the research and details from Destroy the Joint, an online community for gender equality and civil discourse in Australia, the students hope to continue this display as an ongoing visual representation of this important topic.
For more information on this project or for a photo opportunity of the display please contact Dr Ilsa Evans Group Coordinator by email - ilsa.evans@chisholm.edu.au.

For information on our community services qualifications visit Community Services