Check out more at HairPeace.com.au
Scholar Joanna Macy wrote that:
“You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough”,
And with that in mind, the twelve months from the 29th of November 2021 until the 29th of November 2022 will be the year of HairPeace.
Beginning the day of my 30th birthday, and ending four days after the United Nations Annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women,
HairPeace is a year of action; of raising money, resources and awareness for domestic abuse organisations through fundraisers, events and starting conversations.
Put simply; inspired in part by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed Peace movement, and his quote “grow your hair for peace, or cut it off, have some sign on you that’s for peace”,
I will grow my hair for peace.
For peace in people’s lives, in their homes, and in their relationships.
Put a little less simply, in the year of HairPeace, the endeavour is far bigger than hair. Our aim is to raise awareness around domestic abuse, and to also raise money and collect much needed resources for women escaping abuse, and for the shelters and organisations that work to keep them safe.
Throughout the year we will be speaking to a range of people involved with domestic violence organisations, and those who have seen the toll of abuse first hand.
But that’s just step one.
What started out as an idea for a one-off fundraiser in lieu of a thirtieth birthday party, became so much more when learning the sheer breadth of this issue.
So instead of putting a single call out for donations on my birthday, HairPeace began to take on the form of a year-long ride;
To increase the time spent learning and sharing information, helping a wider range of the domestic abuse and refuge organisations, and rallying a crew of people, with all different levels of connection to (and knowledge of) the DA space, to help out in any way that they could.
Teamed with the ridiculous endeavour of seeing how bad I look with long hair, HairPeace is a community initiative.
Of people standing up and saying enough is enough, and helping their fellow woman, man and child however they can. Whether it’s through the sharing of resources, through donations, or through focusing inward and increasing our own knowledge of the issue, so to be best equipped in how to help those in need.
Sharing a link, donating to a GoFundMe, posting a hashtag – the power of social media is immense, and we hope to harness that power and use it for good across the year.
As a man in this world who is lucky enough to call countless women close friends and trusted confidantes, it’s my duty to not only be there for the good times with them – but stand alongside them during the terrifyingly bad too.
To see ourselves in 2021, in a world that has come so far, that we still have (on average) one woman being murdered by a current or former partner every week,
1 in 3 Australian women having experience violence since the age of 15.
That 1 in 4 women has experienced physical or sexual abuse by a current or former partner,
And that Australian women are in more danger in their own homes than they are on the street,
We need to be better.
The world needs to be a better place. A safer place.
This isn’t a contentious issue – because it is nothing less than an irrefutable truth that people should not be killed, harassed or made to feel unsafe in their relationships, or in any facet of their lives.
While some will seek to politicise this topic – and any topic there is, really – the heart and soul of this cause is about wanting the best for people, helping people to be the best versions of themselves, and helping those who need it, access the help that is out there for them.
This is about standing up for someone who can’t – for those fearing for their own life or for the lives of their family – and for those who feel that there’s no way out.
This is about affording everyone the right to exist in a safe, happy space, in a relationship they choose to be in – and ensuring that the integral part of this relationship is that they are given the respect they deserve.
When reading into the topic of domestic abuse over the past eight months or so, and hearing the stories of people ‘just like us’ facing these horrors, it occurred to me that I didn’t know many of the signs to look out for.
That I didn’t know what to do if someone confided in me that they were in an abusive relationship, nor would I know how to protect the safety of someone who was trying to leave such a relationship.
I was at square one.
So using myself as the test-case, I will use this year to compile the necessary resources so that everyone can do their part in identifying warning signs, understanding how to speak about domestic abuse, and compiling a directory with a range of all the incredible resources the heroes in the domestic abuse space have spent their careers building.
We hear the news, we read the stories, and see the photos of the victims on our screens, but we need to know how to identify warning signs, to know what to do when we see inklings of abuse around us, and to know how to help when abuse presents itself in our lives – before the worst can happen.
There is a heaviness that comes with hearing the stories of the helplessness people must feel when they believe they are trapped in an inescapable and dangerous relationship, and an angry fire that burns when hearing of people who believe that they are entitled to ‘own’ another person.
This is the energy I hope will push HairPeace to reach its goals across the twelve months.
I won’t be an expert by the end of this, but I do hope to finish this year a more informed, more aware citizen and friend.
With so many people devoting their entire lives and careers to this cause, what I aim to do is to share the work of these experts, the people who have lived, breathed and studied abuse throughout their lives, and have worked so hard to collate data and information for those who need it most.
To help deliver the most relevant, concise information to anyone who should happen upon HairPeace.
Through our fundraisers and events, we hope to get HairPeace into the lives and into the feeds of as many as possible, and be a starting point for those that don’t have one.
To think about how much we learn from social media each day; the brands, the people, the news – if HairPeace appears on someone’s radar, we want to make sure that HairPeace is equipped with as much relevant information and as many varied resources as possible.
If someone is in danger, and HairPeace is their only exposure to learning more about what domestic abuse is, then we better make sure that their click onto our website worth it.
So whether peace comes from escaping harm, in finding solace, or through work and redemption – each person knows the peace they are after, and they deserve to find it.
Whether HairPeace achieves only monetary goals, or if it helps someone recognise the warning bells going off in a relationship of a friend, or a relationship of their own too – I can only hope that it can be of assistance to whoever needs it , however they need it.
So throughout the 12 months between November 2021 and November 2022, there will be twelve different months of action.
Months of raising funds, awareness or resources.
Each event is completely community focused, with the opportunity for anyone who may be interested in joining #TeamHairPeace to participate in any capacity.
And while we’ve filled our Year of Action calendar with 12 events, we are always happy for Team HairPeace (or our merch) to be represented at any event, and will join in wherever we can!
Rather than have HairPeace be just one fun-run, or one donation drive, I want it to be a year full of events, of information, and of all of us coming and standing together to help tackle this issue.
If you can donate money, donate goods, share this message, this piece, or a piece of relevant information to your wider circle – we’re in this together, and we can help more people than we may ever know.
To stay up-to-date on all the goings on, to donate, or to become a part of #TeamHairPeace head to HairPeace.com.au