“Women put themselves last when fleeing domestic violence.”
Share the Dignity volunteer Katherine Fitzpatrick is talking about the horrors she has heard other women go through while fleeing domestic violence.
“They make sure the kids have everything but often don’t take care of themselves,” she said.
“They’ll flee without the basics, they won’t have anything … using toilet paper as a sanitary pad isn’t something you want to hear happening in this day and age.”
Mrs Fitzpatrick is doing her best to make sure women in need don’t face the same fate, taking part in Share the Dignity’s In The Bag campaign, which partners with Bunnings Warehouse stores across the state.
The campaign encourages people to donate new or used handbags filled with some of the essentials –sanitary items, toothbrushes, tissues, soap – anything people fleeing domestic violence might not have the chance to pack when leaving.
She is part of a group of half a dozen women in Orange who collect donated bags from Bunnings and distribute them to various charities around town.
“It takes 10 minutes out of our day to help someone in need,” she said.
“I donated a bag last year and thought I wanted to get more involved this year, so I signed up on the website.”
She said it was as easy as “throwing a few extra items” into her shopping trolley to put into an old handbag and driving up to drop it off.
“If you help someone simply by doing that it’s perfect,” she said.
“I get more enjoyment out of getting little nick-nacks for someone who might get nothing.”
Those wanting to donate can give items is an old or a new bag, but everything placed inside needs to be new.
Mrs Fitzpatrick said “you can drop off a bag and pick up a snag” at Bunnings during their opening hours until December 2.