RISE UP: Senior Constable Julie Jones and PCYC Fitness Instructor Nikki Toovey have seen great improvements from participants.
RISE UP: Senior Constable Julie Jones and PCYC Fitness Instructor Nikki Toovey have seen great improvements from participants. TAHLIA STEHBENS

PCYC helping women to fight back against violence

THIS time last year, Bundaberg police responded to more than 30 domestic and family violence incidents over the Easter weekend.

Now, Bundy's PCYC is actively working to help women in need.

The facility began hosting the free state-wide program RUBY in January as a way to connect women and break the cycle of abuse. So far there has been a great response.

RUBY is an acronym for "Rise Up, Be Yourself,” and PCYC youth and community programs co-ordinator Beth Henry said the program was designed to provide a safe space for women to rediscover who they were and find a positive connection.

"We can't be the answer for everything in their lives unfortunately, but what we can do is connect them to the right referral spaces, or get resources for them,” Ms Henry said.

"Having that positive connection with each other away from abuse is the real key.

"DV is about power, control and isolating someone. The point of this is to connect them to the trainers, to the club, to the community, and to each other, because they've got four wonderful support beams within that avenue, and they have options instead of feeling isolated and alone.”

RUBY engages women in strength-based training designed to enhance the link between positive physical and mental health, meaning they are not only becoming physically stronger but mentally as well.

"There's always a female officer who exercises with the women so they're all on the same page, they're all hurting and they're all sore the next day together,” Ms Henry said.

Senior Constable Julie Jones has noticed a definite increase in the self confidence of the Bundaberg women.

"I think putting the women in touch with other women who are in a similar situation is the most important part of the program.”



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