Red Bench a reminder of domestic violence and support

Red Bench supporters: Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey and Acting Sergeant Tim Lowth with Churches of Christ Care staff.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey and Police Acting Sergeant Tim Lowth with Churches of Christ Care staff and the Red Bench.

Churches of Christ Care have unveiled a Red Bench at their Payne Street location as a permanent reminder of domestic violence and to symbolise a place of support for those in need.

The bench was hand painted by staff, the community and the Queensland Police Service, with a plaque installed by Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey, to shine a light on the effects of domestic and family violence.

Churches of Christ Care Children, Youth and Families regional manager Helen Warneke said the idea of the Red Bench had come from The Red Rose Foundation and was an initiative of chief executive Betty Taylor.

“The Red Bench was established by Betty particularly to recognise people who had lost their lives through domestic and family violence,” she said.

“For us it is also a powerful symbol of our team's involvement in supporting the community.

“It demonstrates this team's personal commitment to finding ways to respond to domestic and family violence and raise community awareness.”

Red Bench initiative

The Red Rose Foundation works to end domestic violence across communities.

The foundation established the Red Bench Project as a permanent reminder of domestic violence as well as a way to offer support to those who may need it.

The foundation aims to have one Red Bench in every local government area in Queensland.

Local Red Bench advocates

Churches of Christ Care Domestic and Violence Practitioner Sophie Stutchbery said she decided to put the Red Bench plan in action with the rest of the team at Churches of Christ Care after following work of The Red Rose Foundation.

“I saw they had set up a project so we decided we should participate,” she said.

“We have a good, positive relationship with the QPS Vulnerable Persons Unit so they also offered their support.

“They have been instrumental in helping us- when we work with vulnerable families we can seek advice and support from the unit which is very beneficial.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey attended the unveiling of the Red Bench and said the initiative was close to his heart.

“The Red Bench sends a powerful message of just how domestic and family violence can affect people,” he said.

“I am honoured to be part of this initiative and I thank the team at Churches of Christ Care for supporting this cause and the community.

“We don't know what is to come but we can control what is here and now, that's what is important.”