Female riders group Sisters on Steel is celebrating its third anniversary next month of riding and advocating against domestic violence.
The Sisters on Steel Social Motorcycle Club was established in 2015 by “Raven” and now has six chapters: Far North Qld, South Coast Brisbane Qld, Townsville North Qld, Hunter Region NSW, Riverina Region NSW and Western WA.
There is also a Tasmania Support Crew and there are recruiting other female motorcyclists who share their views.
Every Sisters on Steel SMC Chapter supports local women’s charities that help victims of domestic violence to move into temporary protective accommodation.
They raise money to provide “Glory Boxes” ($300 with of kitchenware) and “Emergency Packs” (toiletries and essentials) for the women who leave home with virtually nothing to help them survive.
They also hope to raise community awareness of the domestic violence problem and attract more government funding.
We asked the not-for-profit organisation to outline their aims and the group provided the following:
We are women whose lives play out along very different paths and backgrounds, but with the same common threads: we are passionate motorcyclists; we are also advocates for women who suffer domestic and sexual violence, poverty and homelessness.
By mobilising our collective strengths and skills, we hope to alleviate some of the suffering these women experience, and to assist them on their path to empowerment. Some of us have indeed found ourselves in similar situations – not only have we fought our way back into the light; we have emerged wiser and stronger, and we are empowered.
The fight against domestic violence begins with awareness; thus, as per our mission statement, we aim to raise more awareness of the widespread and insidious nature of domestic violence by publicising, organising and participating in charity events. We endeavour, through the above, to get our communities more involved in our charity drives and fundraising. To arrive at both short-term and long-term solutions to domestic violence, we need stronger communities – this demands strong, independent women who, in turn, empower others. In this way, by helping women traumatised by domestic violence, we can play a small but important part in assisting them when they start a new life free from violence and hardship and, crucially, in a safe environment.
Countless women live with the daily spectre of domestic abuse. Statistics bear out the harsh reality that leaving an abusive relationship is complicated and often fraught with danger. There are various reasons why many are often unable or unwilling to leave a potentially life-threatening situation: some have no familial help or do not want to involve family members or friends because they fear retaliation and further abuse. Others literally have nowhere to go as they simply do not have the financial means to leave. Moreover, many have the added responsibility of having babies or young children and even pets, all of which exacerbate their plight tenfold. However, remaining in an abusive relationship is risky at best; for countless women, it has proven to be fatal.