In an effort to raise public awareness of domestic violence, and keep this growing social issue unmistakably visible, the not for profit organisation, Red Rose Foundation, is working with Local Government Councils to install permanent red benches in public spaces across Queensland.
Sadly, Domestic Violence statistics are such that a disturbing: 1 in 6 (1.6 million) women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a cohabiting partner since age 15 1 in 5 (1.7 million) women and 1 in 20 (428,000) men have been sexually assaulted and/or threatened since age 15 1 in 16 (0.5 million) men have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a cohabiting partner since age 15
The Red Bench Project was launched on 15 May 2019 by the Red Rose Foundation outside the Cleveland Library with the aim of having at least one Red Bench in every local government area in Queensland with each bench carrying a message of hope.
The benches were inspired by similar purple benches in Canada. Known as Barb's Benches, the colorful memorials were launched to help keep alive the memory of Barbara Baillie who was strangled to death by her husband on October 19, 1990. As the 25th anniversary of her murder approached, her five children wanted to do something in her honour.
How will I know a bench when I see one?
Benches can be found in locations including Forest Lake, Cleveland and Bulimba. I was pleased to find a red bench in the popular Raven Street Reserve parklands in Chermside. It easily stood out beside picnic tables and the kids play area, was free to enjoy and provided an opportunity to stop, pause and reflect on lives and communities impacted by DV.
Here are the locations of the 21 completed benches where Brisbane is already painting the town red to raise awareness of domestic violence. Another 3 more potential sites are currently in the planning phase.
Corner Oxford Street and Stuart Street, Bulimba
Bulimba Riverside Park
Racecourse Rd, Ascot
Wakerley Park, Corner Nathan Rd and Dew Street, Runcorn
Einbunpin Lagoon, Sandgate
Raymond Park, Woolloongabba
Bus stop seat 20/21 Ipswich Road Annerley
Corner Bay Terrace and Florence Street, Wynnum
Forest Lake - at new bbq area in front of 5 esplanade
Cannon Hill - SCIP - Corner Wynnum Ro and Barrack Road
Carindale - Carindale Rec reserve
Stones Corner - SCIP - Inbound Outside of Aldi Near Bus Stop
1265 Sandgate Road, Nundah
Chermside - Near pool entry
Logan Road Mt Gravatt Outside City Cave Shop
Station Road, Indooroopilly
Grenier Park, Runcorn
Emma Miller Place, Brisbane CBD
Raven Street Reserve, Chermside West
Boat ramp, Jindalee
So next time you are out and about keep an eye out for a red bench in your suburb to change the ending and join the effort to stop domestic violence in our families and communities.