Mary’s House: ‘sister’s keeper’ role in domestic violence

Domestic violence and playing the role of 'sister's keeper' - This store is a safe place
Domestic violence and playing the role of ‘sister’s keeper’ with Mary’s House – This store displays a discreet but very important sign for women who need help.

The Mary’s House Safe Place sign is not overly conspicuous, floating as it does on the glass-front of the supermarket deli shelf in front of the cheeses and olives.

“Do you feel safe at home? If not, help is available in this store. Approach the Customer Service Desk and ask to contact Mary’s House.”

The person under threat will be given a phone and/or taken to a room in the store if needed, so that she can call the local women’s shelter. The reason they’ll let her use the store phone? So the perpetrator, usually her partner, can’t see the call in the call history of her phone, a potential threat to her safety and life.

This store is playing its part in giving victims of domestic violence the opportunity to alert someone that their life is at risk and Mary’s House CEO Claire Barber is hopeful this initiative will help save women’s and children’s lives.

By early May 2022, 18 Australian women were dead from domestic violence, in a crime that is now being recognised as life-threatening. One more woman was killed in her home in Sydney on Sunday night, June 13, taking the total to at least 19.

Hairdresser Sascha Craven-Sands runs one of 20 hairdressing salons on Sydney’s lower North Shore who are participating in the Safe Salon’s program, a similar initiative. The initiative has had great success in aiding people living with domestic violence.

To read the full story in the Wentworth Courier, go to:  

Domestic Violence and playing the role of 'sister's keeper' - Sascha Craven-Sands
Domestic Violence and playing the role of ‘sister’s keeper’ – Sascha Craven-Sands

Dr Hannah McGlade recently shone the light on Indigenous women and domestic violece in this powerful opinion piece for Mammamia “Indigenous women are the unheard victims of domestic violence. It’s time to break the silence.”

Jess Hill’s book ‘See What You Made Me Do’ is a deep dive into the sorry state of domestic violence and has been made into a SBS series well worth the watch.

See our report on police language which failed domestic violence victims in Queensland as recently as 2020.

Good Grief has a wide variety of articles such as this one.

Check them out here:

2 thoughts on “Mary’s House: ‘sister’s keeper’ role in domestic violence”

  1. Excellent article Margaret. To me this seems a sensible way to offer support to people experiencing domestic violence, especially when it is so important to be discreet.


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