Main Image: Community member Margaret Kilen heard about the initiative and donated several items to Constable Kimberly Allen for the DV Crisis Packs (supplied).
Gatton police know that when victims are in a financially vulnerable position or else need to escape an unsafe situation quickly, there may not be an opportunity to grab the essentials.
Two members of the Gatton Police Station have taken it upon themselves to put together DV Crisis Packs to assist vulnerable women, and have now expanded their assistance to vulnerable children and men.
Constable Kimberly Allen said she first had the idea when responding to a DFV job in her community.
“While attending a particular DV job, it was highlighted to me that in some instances, DFV perpetrators withhold personal care items such as sanitary products as a form of control over the aggrieved,” Constable Allen said.
“I’ve also witnessed women without the means to purchase such items due to household monies being withheld as a form of economic financial control.”
Constable Allen decided to gather some of these personal care items from her own home and put together a few packs to be held at the Gatton Police Station for aggrieved women when needed.
She shared the idea with Gatton Station’s administrative officer Tracey Eelkema, who has previously worked as a DV support officer and has a keen interest, with Ms Eelkema strongly supporting the idea and gathering items from her home as well to make up more DV Crisis Packs.
“Tracey and I often purchase a few items that are on special each week while doing our personal grocery shop,” Constable Allen said.
“Friends, family and some community members are also supporting our initiative by donating items to help support DV aggrieved women. We have now expanded our range to include packs for aggrieved children and aggrieved men.”
The packs are all individual in content, but typically include toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and hair conditioner, sanitary products, hand lotion, body lotion, cotton buds, tissues, hand sanitiser and a face mask.
The children’s packs include colouring-in pencils, tissues, socks, stationery, activities and snacks.
All the items are paid for by Constable Allen and Ms Eelkema, or donated by friends, family or community members.
Constable Allen said their aim was to provide hope and dignity to women in a crisis and let them know there was somebody they could turn to.
“I would never want another woman or anyone to be in such an uncomfortable position as not being able to access these simple necessities.
“Ultimately the first 48 hours of leaving a DV relationship can potentially be the most dangerous, so if we can prevent them going back for the necessities of life, that’s a small win,” she said.
Community members who wish to contribute can deliver or post items to Gatton Police Station.