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Messages of hope for an end to family violence

Photo: Head of Social Work Dr Meghan O’Brien, Chief Executive Felicity Topp, Family Violence Clinical Liaison Laura Menzies and Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence Project Coordinator Marilyn Connolly with the Tree of Hope at Frankston Hospital.

More than 300 staff members, visitors and patients across Peninsula Health have written messages on the Tree of Hope, in support of the 16 Days of Activism to end Family Violence across the lifespan.

Peninsula Health was one of 12 health services across the state to have a Tree of Hope, with all of the trees coming together to form one display at Southbank on 10 December – Human Rights Day – and the conclusion of the 16 Days campaign.

Photo: Peninsula Health social work team members and Executive Director Lyn Jamieson at Southbank. .

Family Violence Clinical Liaison Laura Menzies says the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence team, were pleased so many people wrote a message on a leaf for the tree and stopped to talk about family violence.

“A lot of people in the community have commented that family violence has touched their lives personally and that is how they have contributed to the tree,” explains Laura.

“There have been some really heart-felt responses. We have also had people seeking support and we have been able to link them in with the relevant services.”

People who visited the Tree of Hope were able to talk to staff from Peninsula Health’s family violence services, as well as representatives from other family violence services in the community, whom they can turn to for help.

As part of Peninsula Health’s Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program, more than 1700 staff and volunteers have received family violence training. Compared to 2017, there has been a 182% increase in family violence referrals within a four month period.

If you need urgent support, you can contact the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre 24/7 on 1800 015 188.

Photo: Lyn Jamieson and other health service representatives at Southbank.

Photo: Felicity Topp leaves a message on the Tree of Hope.