Join Andrew Scipione in 'Sleeping Rough' to Help Mums and Kids Fleeing Violence   – Hope 103.2

Join Andrew Scipione in ‘Sleeping Rough’ to Help Mums and Kids Fleeing Violence  

By Clare BruceTuesday 16 Apr 2019Hope Mornings

Listen: Andrew Scipione chats to Katrina Roe. Above: The former NSW Police Commissioner will spend the night ‘sleeping rough’ for Georges River Life Care.

“Can you imagine being a mum, having to get the kids ready, get them some breakfast, get them dressed, get them to school…and doing it all from a car, because you can’t go home?”

That’s the question former NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione posed in a chat with Katrina Roe about domestic violence.

The scenario he painted is all too real for many women and children who are forced to flee their own homes due to violence from a partner. While many take refuge in charity safe-houses, or the homes of friends or neighbours, there are also too many who end up literally on the street, sleeping in cars or on park benches, struggling to know how to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Mr Scipione, who is now chairman of the Southern Sydney charity Georges River Life Care, said that domestic violence is one of the biggest issues our nation is facing. On Wednesday night, April 17, he’s joining in the organisation’s ‘Sleeping Rough’ charity dinner and sleepout night, to help raise funds and awareness for those affected by domestic violence.

It’s Worse Than You Think

Mum and child suffering due to Domestic Violence (1)

In his many years of police work, Mr Scipione was exposed to a lot of the effects of domestic violence.

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“I saw the very worst that people can do to each other, and the very best that people can do for each other,” he said. “This is a crime that can affect everyone. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what your postcode is, what you earn, what your status in society is. The reality is, domestic violence is the single biggest under-reported crime that we have.

“When we lose one woman per week, murdered, to domestic violence, we know we’ve got a problem.”

Ironically, people suffering from domestic violence often do so in silence and avoid reporting it to the police, because there’s so much at risk, Mr Scipione explained.

“When we lose one woman per week, murdered, to domestic violence, we know we’ve got a problem.”

“Parents don’t want to be homeless,” he said. “They don’t want to have their children at risk of being taken by Family and Community Services. They don’t want to have a situation where they don’t have any money. Often when women and children leave these terrible environments, they’ll leave with what they stand in. They don’t have anything else.”

Family and friends, children and neighbours are affected too, as well as the offender, who can go to jail if their crime is serious enough.

One of the saddest impacts of domestic violence is upon children who can grow up to become violent themselves.  The better the intervention though, the better childrens’ chances of adjusting well.

Andrew Scipione Chairman of Georges River Life Care

Above: Andrew Scipione was appointed chairman of Georges River Life Care in 2018.

The Sleeping Rough event is now in its fifth year and all are welcome to either the dinner ($40 a head), or the sleepout and a breakfast afterwards – or both.

Those who sleepout will give up the comforts of home for a night and put themselves in the shoes of someone doing it tough – albeit in a much more friendly, safe environment. Participants are encouraged to be sponsored by family and friends. Funds raised go towards Georges River Life Care services for those fleeing violence – such as counselling, legal support, emergency relief and food hampers.

For more details head to the Georges River Life Care website or phone 9153 6300.

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