Putting a Candle Light on Family Violence

Natalie Asseraf was on the look out for a cause to support for Mother’s Day this year when she was introduced by a friend to McAuley Community Services for Women.

Natalie is co-owner for the Hawthorn-based shop Exterior - The Style Room in 529 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn which stocks Damselfly candles. Each candle has a positive and uplifting message on it.

She is donating the proceeds of every candle, purchased in April and during May's High Tea Appeal, to McAuley Community Services for Women.

“With Mother’s Day approaching, candles are an ideal gift and a great way for us to honour women, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts,” Natalie said.

“The idea of assisting women in their most vulnerable state is what struck at my core, being in an industry where I work every day with very privileged women, I thought it was most fitting and humbling to create awareness of women who are not in this fortunate position.”

According to Natalie, her mum is the epitome of strength, teaching the power of resilience and the importance of adaptability.

“My mother has taught me many life lessons that seem to have only surfaced since I have become a mother and I hope to pass these lessons onto my children,” she said.

Natalie is shocked by the rising number of women being killed due to the family violence, as well as the sheer number of women who are being forced into very vulnerable situations.

She believes the community itself needs to adopt a much tougher stance to end family violence.

“Schools need to be educating children, particularly in senior schools, about the appropriate ways to treat each other, to respect one another and empower both boys and girls,” said Natalie.

“Adults need to support organisations like McAuley Community Services for Women which is on the ground working alongside women and their children who are facing the most horrific situations,” she added.

“For me, becoming involved in the high tea appeal is empowering because I am supporting other women.”

Natalie’s favourite high tea recipe

My favourite traditional high tea recipe is the chicken sandwich, crustless and with super yummy soft seeded bread. It has a traditional feel to it, and I can envisage the upper-class ladies of the early 19th century sitting and sipping on their tea and eating the dainty sandwiches.

To buy a candle, either pop into see Natalie at Exterior - The Style Room, 529 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn or email her on natalie@exteriorimports.com.au