Kitchen ware might be last item you think about grabbing when fleeing domestic violence but it’s the small things that matter when you’re trying to rebuild you life, according to Australia’s first women-only motorcycle club.
Social motorcycle club Sisters on Steel, have raised much-needed money for women and children who have suffered or continue to suffer from domestic violence in the Peel region.
The group’s western chapter were in Mandurah recently to donate ‘glory boxes’, which were full of new kitchen wares to give to the women leaving the shelter a leg-up when rebuilding their lives.
Sisters On Steel was founded in 2014, and is dedicated to helping community issues.
One group member Raven – who didn’t want to disclose her real name – said it was important to give back to the community.
“We provide glory boxes for women escaping domestic violence that go through the Halo refuge,” she said.
“We've been told that they [Halo] get between eight to ten of these domestic violence victims every year, which is what our core group can manage with delivering the glory boxes.”
The glory box donations were made possible through the group and community’s generosity.
The group also started a online charity drive through Go Fund Me to raise money for the cost of running women’s rooms at a local shelter.
As a result of those fundraising efforts, the group were able to donate $600 to Mandurah-based homeless and needy charity Halo Team.
“They have a seperate room so they need a cooling system in order to make it bearable for them to be comfortable there. They have that right to be comfortable,” Raven said.
Raven said members of the group were passionate about helping these women because a lot of them had experienced domestic violence first-hand.
“Some of us come from domestic violence backgrounds and so that's how we've given back to the community,” she said.
“All of us believe in empowering women that perhaps aren’t in as good a place as what we are.
“If life is good for us, we have that opportunity to give back to other women who have been through the same thing… and who may still be going through the same thing.”
Another group member Rebel – not her real name – said the women were not alone.
“We were lucky enough to be survivors and get out on top, so we're all about empowering other women to be able to do the same and to realise that you don't have to be stuck in that situation forever,” Rebel said.
Over time, the group have also created emergency packs including simple things like tubes of shampoo and conditioner.
Western chapter has been going for about four years and can deliver about five glory boxes a year, according to Raven.
“We've already delivered two,” she said.
“That's what we basically do with Halo and that's something we're committed to doing. It will be on going because that's what we can achieve with the numbers that we've got.”
Raven said the Australia-wide club gave women an opportunity for bonding and sisterhood under a common banner.
“Because it's a women's only motorcycle club we don't take males on-board but we certainly encourage them to support us and there's lots of different things that those supporters can do,” she said.