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Fashion Label and NGO join forces to tackle domestic abuse

Fashion Label and Not-For-Profit Join Forces to Tackle Shocking Domestic Abuse Statistics

Shine, the nation's largest domestic abuse organisation, has teamed up with leading fashion label Verge to bring attention to the country's disturbing domestic abuse problem. Fashion Tee Shirts will be sold through Verge retailers nationwide. Verge and its retailers will be donating 100% of the profits to the Shine Helpline, a service which provides critical support for individuals struggling with physical and psychological abuse.

On-going research has revealed the shocking scale of the problem, prompting the campaign.

• 1 in 3 New Zealand women are affected by domestic abuse during their lifetime

• Half of all murders in New Zealand are due to domestic abuse

• Police deal with more than 70,000 family violence calls a year but estimate this represents only a fraction of the problem

• The economic cost of domestic abuse per year is thought to be in the billions

"It is never easy to attract corporate sponsorship when dealing with such an uncomfortable issue so we are hugely grateful to Verge for coming on-board. We approached them and were thrilled and amazed when they accepted -I still can't believe that a fashion label has been brave enough to take a stand and get involved in such a gritty matter," says Jane Drumm, Shine's Executive Director.

"The aim is to raise in excess of $55,000 for the Shine Helpline," adds Jane. "These funds will not only help us provide much needed support to the 27,000 plus women that call us every year but will also help educate the public about what we do and how close to home domestic abuse really is. The fact that a third of all women are affected means that most people will know someone struggling with abuse - even if they aren't aware of it. We also want to reach the 40% of abused women that have reported not being able to find any help or support when they needed it most."

Ian Webster, Verge Design Director, hopes that the fashion label's involvement in the campaign will encourage businesses and individuals to develop increased awareness of domestic abuse and take responsibility for what is a serious nationwide problem.

"When we discovered just how prevalent domestic abuse is in New Zealand, we were blown away," says Ian. "A common assumption is that domestic abuse is a private matter. However, this is simply not the case. It is a critical national problem, impacting on children, their families and destroying New Zealand communities.

"Our discussions with Shine really brought home how vital it is for businesses to step-up and make a difference. It is not enough to be purely about sales. We need to be dedicated to helping create a happy, healthy, functional society - one that can develop and prosper.

"Our aim is to use our Verge fashion brand to raise money for the Shine Helpline and more importantly, to increase the awareness of Shine, to assist these women, many of whom are our customers, as well as our mothers, teachers, neighbours, daughters and close friends," adds Ian.

The Tee Shirts will be available from 21st October 2011 to 31st January 2012. RRP is $50. For more information and a list of participating stockists, visit www.verge.co.nz.

ENDS

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