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Open Your Heart to Safe Haven Community

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Writen by Jaeneen Cunningham, Safe Haven Community

Safe Haven Community and White Lady Funerals are asking locals to accept the challenge and host a World’s Biggest Dinner Party on May 14, 2022, to raise funds and awareness of the work Safe Haven
Community does to support women at risk of domestic abuse.

Safe Haven Community Executive Director Jaeneen Cunningham said women were the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia, and domestic and family violence was the leading cause.

The charity provides early intervention pathways, allowing women and their children to escape abusive relationships before the situation escalates to physical violence.

“Your involvement in the World’s Biggest Dinner Party will help provide crucial accommodation desperately needed additional support services, that will directly reach over 1000 women a year across Australia,” Ms Cunningham said.

White Lady Funerals Queensland Regional Manager Tania Dell’Amico encouraged people, businesses and community groups to host their own dinner party event in May to support Safe Haven Community.

Ms Dell’Amico said week in week out her team saw the heartbreaking consequences of the epidemic of domestic violence, and it had to stop.

“As a funeral director I have looked after too many families that have lost loved ones due to domestic and family violence,” Ms Dell’Amico said.

“Raising awareness of this contemptible issue is an important priority for us. Our people are on the front line of this issue. Our people don’t want to continue burying the victims of domestic violence.

White Lady Funerals Queensland Regional Manager Tania Dell’Amico and Safe Haven Community Executive Director Jaeneen Cunningham.

“The impact of domestic violence affects so many people. I want us to be a part of the change, so we are not called to look after ‘that women’, ‘that family’, ‘those children’. That’s why White Lady Funerals has chosen to sponsor the World’s Biggest Dinner Party.”

Ready to take the challenge?

Get your very own fundraising page and use the ‘Host Kit’ to organise your event to invite
family, friends, colleagues and/or sponsors.

Safe Haven Community is a NFP small charity that helps women and children fleeing domestic abuse. We are registered with the ACNC and the ATO, so all donations are tax deductible.

Our service offers temporary accommodation (from kind citizens in the community that donate their spare rooms to us to manage) so women have somewhere to go rather than sleeping in their cars when they flee. We have counselling services to help you with support and just to have someone to talk to. We also accompany women to court when they are usually alone and find just seeing the perpetrator in court intimidates them. So having someone by their side makes a world of difference.

Safe Haven Community targets vulnerable women who are experiencing coercive control (invisible abuse like economic, sexual, verbal, fear and intimidation, gaslighting and threats, just to name a few). It’s the abuse that you can

not evidence. It’s the shame that women feel. If we can help women and children as an early intervention process, there will be less women & children being killed, like Hannah Clarke and her children.

Sadly, offering a service like ours, does costs a lot of money. Although most of us work voluntarily and give more hours in a day towards our cause, we are dedicated to ensuring the vulnerable are supported. We still have to pay operational costs to run the service. As we are not funded by any Government organisations, we need to rely on the kindness of citizens and business to help us raise funds.

Each year we organise fundraising activities and we have had many businesses support us in these efforts. This year we have had high teas and fashion fundraisers. We do like to chose one major event that will bring awareness to our service and raise a substantial amount to increase our capacity.

This year we are organising ‘The Biggest Dinner Party’. There are many people in society that want to help but just don’t know what to do.

So, we thought how great would it be to have a dinner party in your own home, invite some
friends, everyone can bring a plate and there would be a small cost which would go to Safe
Haven Community.

Everyone can be innovative with the concept.

You could have beer and pizza to a 3-course dinner party. The choice is yours. We have had some organisations like Rotary who are organising a large gathering on a private property, with bands etc. So, it can be whatever you like, just as long as you bring awareness to domestic abuse and how it can affect anyone and you have fun along the way.

What is really important with this project is ensuring more women and children are saved.
They do not become homeless or worse still a statistic. If we can get others in the community to help spread the word, that is the ultimate goal for us.

We opened this up to the whole of Australia and to friends and family overseas. Domestic abuse has no boundaries, it happens all over the world.

We have been lucky with this project to have White Lady Funerals get behind us and sponsor us. White Lady Funerals is Australia wide and will be supporting us by holding events and advertising the event within the community.

So, we are asking the community to support Safe Haven Community by registering to hold a dinner party and raise some much needed funds. To have fun while bringing awareness to the community about our service to help the vulnerable. To be educated about coercive control and to feel great that you have done something great to save someone’s life.

Register yourself or a team and please spread the word to your family, friends and work colleagues to join in. https://www.safehavencommunity.com.au/worlds-biggest-dinner-party

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