Two women who were both abused by convicted Sydney rapist Simon Lowe are coming together to support a campaign that helps women escape domestic violence. Kay Schubach and Kim Gentle have united for the We Care Pack campaign, an initiative from Anglicare and New Idea, providing emergency survival packs filled with everyday necessities to women in crisis situations.
Gentle and Schubach are joined by a long list of local celebrities horrified by this violent epidemic including Sunrise’s Natalie Barr, Weekend Sunrise’s Andrew O’Keefe, Melissa Doyle, Kylie Gillies, WSFM’s Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller, Georgie Parker, Lynne McGranger and Fiona Falkiner.
Statistics confirm one woman is killed every week by a violent partner in Australia. Australian police deal with a domestic violence matter every two minutes. Gentle, 45, said Simon Lowe stalking her, abusing her and then threw her beloved dog off a cliff to death.
“All I wanted to do was leave, but every time I tried to run he would find me and do something worse,” she details.
Schubach, who was abused by Lowe after Gentle, added that the packs offer a much needed lifeline.
“When you’re experiencing domestic violence it is natural to feel all alone,” she said. “The packs provide essential items, but more than that, the packs are gifts of kindness that help you realise you are not alone.”
Andrew O’Keefe added, “Until people understand the extent of a problem, they have no motivation to fix it – but awareness is just the beginning.”
“I love this campaign because I know that a lot of shelters are closing their doors because of a lack of funding. Anything we can do to help women with their daily essentials is wonderful,” Amanda Keller said.
Each We Care Pack contains a pre-paid phone card, facial cleanser, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, a toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, a razor and more.
Natalie Barr said, “We need to broaden our minds about how it can happen in any family, be aware, be there to help and support.”
Melissa Doyle added, “We need these women to feel supported. The sisterhood can be an incredibly strong force, and this is one situation where we need our girlfriends to know they have our unconditional support. No judgment, no shame – just support, to give them the strength to do what they need to and once again feel safe.”
New Idea editor-in-chief Louisa Hatfield said, “We decided to launch We Care because these women are often escaping crisis situations with nothing but the clothing on their backs.”
The campaign also asks people to donate money towards more packs by clicking on wecarepacks.com.au. As little as $5 can help deliver this much-needed service to further women around the country.
Kasy Chambers from Anglicare Australia added that the “extremely practical” packs will be welcomed by the women they encounter on a daily basis. “Often women who’ve been abused feel a lack of self-worth, guilt and shame. They need to know they’re important and that people do care,” Chambers said.
New Idea, Anglicare and We Care celebrity ambassadors are urging Australians to dig deep and support this worthy cause. Louisa Hatfield said, “Thanks to Anglicare, we’re now able to get these essentials out to a woman a day for the next 365 days, in the hope of raising even further funds to create more packs. We want these women to realise they aren’t alone.”