Raising More than Money to End Family Violence

Monique Rosshandler was a young law student when she first saw the impact of family violence up close. It not only influenced the legal work she would pursue as a young lawyer, it also shaped her social and philanthropic priorities. For the second year in a row, Monique is part of the TwentyFour/7 Cocktail Party organising committee. The event, a major fundraiser for McAuley Community Services for Women, will be held on Thursday March 5 2015 at the stunning Federation Court – National Gallery of Victoria.

While Monique can’t end family violence, she is determined through her work on the committee to ensure that women, and their children, who are forced to flee their homes, will have somewhere safe and welcoming to go. Over the past year, McAuley Care, Victoria’s only 24/7 safe house, supported 380 women and children, as well as 90 women and children in its refuges.

“When I was a law student and throughout my career I have been at the coal face of witnessing the fallout from domestic violence and the cyclical nature of how this abuse continues through generations,” Monique said. “Once I heard the stories and understood the effect family violence has on everyone involved I felt compelled to try and make a difference.”

“In the last couple of years things have changed a bit because of some public campaigns and some tragic high profile murders of women and children. But we still have a long way to go.”

Monique believes fundraising also has an important advocacy arm to it. As well as asking people to keep services, such as McAuley Care  going, she asks her supporters to keep the conversation going in the community.

She agrees that many people still don’t understand the link between family violence and homelessness and why many women stay with the perpetrator.

“I know a woman who lives with a violent husband. She is wealthy, dresses beautifully and her kids go to private schools, but her husband gives her no actual money other than pocket money and her life is very difficult. People talk about choice, but for many women the choices are very limited and difficult to make,” Monique said.

Monique became involved in the TwentyFour/7 Cocktail Party first as a guest and then in 2013 as an organising committee member. The more she found out about McAuley Community Services for Women, the more interested she became in supporting the organisation. “I really like what McAuley does behind the scenes and the difference it makes to women who need a safe place to live when their life falls apart.”

Monique hopes the 2015 TwentyFour/7 Cocktail Party will raise more than the $107,000 raised in 2013.

Join Monique and many others at the 2015 event. Tickets will go on sale from 19 January.

To reserve a ticket, or for more information, email fundraising@mcauleycsw.org.au