Inspirational domestic violence survivor, Simone O’Brien, was joined by some of Australia’s leading women in media to make a stand against domestic violence. The group of women is came together to support RizeUp Australia’s efforts to put a stop to the domestic and family violence at an event on 13 September.

The women want to shine a light on the devastating impact of domestic violence and raise support for women and families affected by the issue. Media personalities including Mia Freedman, co-founder of the Mamamia Women’s Network, and radio hosts Robin Bailey and Emily Jade O’Keefe attended RizeUp’s annual fundraising event in Queensland. Themed A Conversation with Mia Freedman & Friends, attendees heard from domestic violence survivor Simone O’Brien, who was left fighting for her life in 2012 after being beaten repeatedly with a baseball bat. Simone hopes sharing her story will prevent others from suffering at the hands of domestic violence, and inspire all Australians to stand up against it. “Speaking up about my experience has been a big help with the healing process and knowing there are organisations out there, such as RizeUp, which have programs to support women and families, gives me more motivation to share my story,” said Simone. “Our communities need to be aware that domestic violence is a big issue, and that it’s not embarrassing to speak about. People should be having conversations about domestic violence, so we can recognise red flags before they escalate into traumatic events.”

“RizeUp Australia is a community-driven organisation working closely with crisis services and refuges to provide practical support to the many women and families affected by domestic and family violence,” said Simone. “Personally knowing the end results of domestic violence, RizeUp’s work and their programs are incredible in terms of supporting people who have fled their homes and helping them know they’re not alone.”

CEO and Founder of RizeUp Australia, Nicolle Edwards, says there is a need for more open dialogue, so society is aware of, and engaged with the issue.“We’re proud to have such a high-profile group of women on-board who see the critical nature of the issue and join in our mission to eradicate domestic violence,” said Nicolle. “Our event is a platform for the community to engage in conversation and become informed on the issue alongside other topics impacting women. Simone’s story is just one example of why society needs to be rising up against domestic and family violence.”

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