Breaking the cruel cycle

THREE Gympie organisations have joined forces in their fight against domestic violence in an Australia-first partnership.

Between Erin House, St Patrick's College and GHD Gympie, the message of peace will be delivered to more homes in the region.

For the first time in Australia, a school and a business have partnered with a domestic violence service to help people who are living in fear in their own homes.

"Peace begins at home" was the message being pushed in Gympie this week to mark Domestic and Family Violence Prevention month in Queensland.

Under the auspices of Australia's CEO Challenge, the first shared activity was held on Thursday with a walk down Mary St and activities in Memorial Park.

Bernadette Wright of Community Action Erin House, a local organisation that helps people affected by domestic violence, said one in three women and one in four children in this country were affected by domestic violence.

"These people need to know there is help available, right here in their own community," she said.

St Patrick's College principal Patricia Kennedy said it was important for young people to learn about respectful relationships, and the school's involvement was a powerful way of increasing their understanding.

"It's also an excellent opportunity to extend our social justice program out into the community," she added.

GHD - a global network of engineers, architects and environmental scientists managing some of Australia largest infrastructure projects - is a proud leader in domestic violence prevention, with six of its offices partnered with local domestic violence refuges across the state.

GHD Gympie manager Harold Lancaster said domestic violence also affected the workplace, through absences, errors, poor service and loss of employment.

The inaugural Peace Begins at Home originated from the successful Act as One domestic and family violence prevention and awareness campaign.

Peace Begins at Home extends the message of personal safety to the theme of community connection, resilience and preparedness.

Gympie Times

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