Ad campaign highlights need to support children going through domestic violence

in Press Releases

Media Release - Thursday 8 December, 2016

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has launched a television commercial highlighting the fact that 60,000 children are in emergency care every year.

The commercial outlines an unfortunately all-too-common scenario of a mother fleeing the family home with her young children who have witnessed violent and traumatic events.

The final scene shows the mother, son and baby arriving in emergency accommodation where the young boy is given a Buddy Bag full of practical items he would have left behind as they fled the house.

Launched in 2007, the Foundation has provided 70,000 Buddy Bags – 10,000 in the past 12 months to children in emergency care.

Buddy Bags – sent across the country – are backpacks filled with essential items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, pyjamas, socks, underwear, pillowcase, facewasher, a book, photo frame and a teddy bear and are age and gender specific.

They are packed every fortnight at the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s offices by volunteers who give of their time. Unfortunately, the bags most in demand are for the age range of newborns to two-year-olds.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said Buddy Bags were more than just essential material items, they also returned a sense of dignity and security to a child and parent during a time of anxiety and confusion.

Ms Podesta said the Foundation was committed to supporting children placed in this situation but called on the community to help them reach more children.

She said as families begin to prepare for the festive season, it is important to remember that many children caught up in domestic violence will miss out on the things that most take for granted – a happy home and multiple presents sitting under the Christmas tree.

“I wish this was a service that wasn’t required, that all children felt safe at home with their families, but unfortunately this isn’t the case,” Ms Podesta said. “We know that more than one million children live with violence in the home. My hope is that every child in need of a Buddy Bag receives one.”

The Foundation receives written feedback from mothers, carers and children about their experience with Buddy Bags every day. Miki, whose children have previously received Buddy Bags, said the program had supported her and her young family during an extremely traumatic time.

“My kids still have their teddies that came with their Buddy Bags when we first went to the women's refuge over three years ago,” Miki said. “It's a great incentive to put a smile on children's faces who have had to deal with domestic violence.”

To view the commercial go to https://youtu.be/q4zaLUrJb0s. To donate to the Buddy Bags program go to amf.org.au.

The Foundation thanks the cast and crew for their generous support in creating this commercial.

Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or adrian.bernecich@amf.org.au

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