About The 100 Voices project.
Domestic Violence can be hard to talk about. Alice Springs Womens Shelter found that local women’s reported experiences matched national research showing that women in unhealthy relationships will seek help from family and friends before contacting the police or a specialist service like ours.
Many women in unhealthy relationships find their partner isolates them from their support networks – that's why family and friends are so important in keeping women safe.
Supporting someone through an unhealthy relationship can be challenging and confusing – it's important that people feel confident and comfortable in providing support. To help do this we talked to women about how they support other women and themselves.
We wanted to find out what kept women strong, and share these skills between women across the community, so they'd be better able to help each other out. We used two key ideas (or methodologies) to guide us in our search to better understand these support structures;
Collective Narrative Therapy is a way of sharing of stories of resilience (coping) between communities.
Community Cultural Development supports the use of the arts as a good way to talk about and create cultural change.
In 2010 we started working with these ideas, sharing women's stories through quilting workshops. Between 2010-2012, nearly 100 women shared their stories in workshops at festivals and community centres from Alice Springs to Warburton. Ten quilts were created over this time, drawing together participant's stories and ideas. These stories formed the backbone of the 100 Voices Project.
Since 2012 the shelter has continued this work, supporting hundreds more women and children to share their stories through arts, craft and music. During this time, the shelter focussed on giving voice to some of the least heard stories, including women who have experienced domestic violence and people of diverse gender, sex and sexuality.
This website is a window into 5 years of storytelling between women across the community about how they support each other through unhealthy relationships. The stories shared here highlight the most important and reoccurring themes discussed throughout the project.
Some of the stories, like Walk Your Life, are intimate insights into individual experiences. Others, like Hearts Speaking to Hearts, are a collection of many women's voices, sharing similar ideas about supporting each other. More information on how individual stories was created can be found by clicking on their individual links on the website.
The Alice Springs Women's Shelter is continuing it's work in supporting women's voices. We invite you to share these stories with your family, friends, work colleagues or on social media. You can keep up to date with Women's Shelter happenings by liking our Facebook Page.
If you or someone you know would like to talk about intimate partner violence or unhealthy relationships you can contact the Alice Springs Womens Shelter or 1800RESPECT or visit www.1800respect.org.au.