Have you ever been without pads and tampons when you get your period?
Rochelle from Share the Dignity tells us why they exist.
Share the Dignity was set up just 3 years ago after reading an online article by Mamamia talking about how our homeless women did not have enough money to buy pads and Tampons when they got their period!
Omg I had never thought about this!!!
Sure I had thought about how they don’t have a home, how do they buy food? How do they take care of their kids? Sure I had considered all those things but never had I ever thought that they would be making pads from newspaper! Yep…. newspaper could you imagine how uncomfortable and how undignified that would be?
When I started to look into it more I will never forget the story of Ella, a woman in Darwin who told me how she had worked in a petrol station. She can recall several instances where she simply had to turn the other cheek as a woman would walk in dripping blood from between her legs, steal a pack of pads of the shelf and head to the bathroom. After coming out of the bathroom her head down low and just leaving, this bought me to tears at the thought of just how would that woman feel and thank god for people like Ella that turned the other cheek. Consequently I have now heard this so many times it’s not a uncommon event.
So while we sit and think, “Hey, yes sure, we can get people to donate pads and tampons for homeless women – that should be no problem”, I will also then never forget the day Tanya called me to tell me the sadness of what is happening in our drought stricken farming community. I was crying to hear they are barely able to feed their families, pay electricity and that the mothers and daughters out there were using ripped up towels because sanitary items were just not as important as putting food on the table for their families. To me our Australian farming community are the backbone of Australia. This was not ok and it was something we had to help with. Surely we can get enough pads and tampons to these women….right???
Then I hear that this is real and happening in Australia….
Young girls who are missing school in Australia because their family cannot afford pads or tampons for their daughters. I was so upset for two reasons. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the guilt you would feel if you were not able to provide these essentials to your girls. Also I was saddened, because of a natural bodily function, these girls were missing out on an education one or two days a month because they came from a poverty stricken family… this is so wrong in any part of the world, but in Australia, the lucky country??? We had to provide enough pads and tampons to ensure not a day of school is missed by our girls, our future women.
And then, we have the national disgrace that is domestic violence. We are a nation mourning the loss of far too many lives of women who have been killed by their intimate partners, but these are the stories we hear about. For every death, there are thousands more women living in this nightmare or trying to flee, and when they do escape and try to get help, they are trying to get a safe and better start for themselves and their children, most times leaving with nothing. So, imagine them living in a car because our lucky country doesn’t have enough crisis accommodation to ensure their safety! Imagine that first, then imagine you get your period and you have $12 left and you have two children to feed… Are you really going to spend half of that on tampons? Probably not! Heading into a public toilet and making a makeshift pad from toilet paper is a very real scenario for these women.
The stories I could tell you could go on and on, but your cuppa would be empty and we all have stuff to do right!
With just days until our August collection I wanted every woman in Australia to know WHY we are doing this. It’s not like we can give a woman a winter coat and it keeps her warm for years, this is a bloody monthly problem (pardon the pun). We have so many women who need our help through your donations.
If we can get every woman in Australia to think about just how that would feel…. maybe, just maybe, you could help a sister out by picking up a pack of pads or tampons while you are out shopping and popping it into any one of our donation boxes. This would help us reach our target to ensure NO woman should have to be making makeshift pads from newspaper or rolled up toilet paper….it’s just not ok!
To find your closest collection point head click on Donate below or if you are never going to get there you can dontate online the price of a good coffee and we will grab them for you.
#sharethedignity #homelessperiod #droughtstrickenfarmers #stopdv #pleasehelp