International Women's Day 2015

All around the world, International Women’s Day on March 8 represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

This year’s theme, Make It Happen, aims to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women.

Today, we at McAuley Community Services for Women, take time out to celebrate and reflect on how we make it happen every day of the year for women and their children who escape family violence and who are homeless.

But we could not make it happen without you:

· Our 40 volunteers who work with us to support women at different stages of their lives.

· Our donors and philanthropic partners whose generosity and commitment keep our family violence, homelessness and women in communities’ programs operating.

· Our funders who recognise the value of the programs we run.

· Our new supporters with connections to government, new avenues of funding and new ideas.

Most important of all, we make it happen for the women.

We have an extraordinary group of women working with us who have been through our services and are now ‘giving back.’ Women like Aida, who is a peer sister and works with the children and women at our safe house and at McAuley House; Peta and Shiara who have shared their stories about the help they received from us; the many women who write a note of appreciation because they have been able to make it happen with our support.

These voices are vital to hear as we prepare for the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Their voices are vital because their stories explain first hand the ghastly statistics that confront us on a seemingly daily basis:

· 17 Australian women killed this year already

· 81 Australian women killed last year.

· One in three women experience physical violence and one in five sexual violence in their lifetime.

· Women make up 44% of the homeless in Australia because, sadly, it is a safer option than remaining at home.

Their stories of survival and resilience affirm there is hope.

With action and support, we can tackle family violence and homelessness.

Thank you for helping us to Make It Happen.

Happy International Women’s Day.