Dorothy Gilmour at a Club meeting recently discussed a grim issue - abuse. Whilst it  is a dire situation for many Dorothy did not want us to be linger on this and she offered us hope that we can do something about it. Dorothy was keen to point out that abuse is not limited to a specific demographic and happens to all kinds of people in different environments. Abuse represents an exercise of power over a targeted victim making the person feel insecure and can be physical, mental, subliminal etc.
Rotary Safe Families was established 3 years ago by Dorothy Gilmour, a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, with the aim of the primary prevention of abuse.
The strategy adopted is the simplified by the identification of the three R's:
1. Recognise the signs of abuse
2. Raise concerns safely with the victim
3. Refer the victim to the appropriate support
She passionately emphasised the view that being a passive bystander is not an option. She also asked some interesting questions of the members of The Rotary Club of Canterbury:-
1. When have you last discussed abuse?
2. Why is abuse such a taboo subject?
What Rotary Safe Families advocates for is not money simply to seek champions amongst Rotary clubs across Australia who will spread the word and support others.
Dorothy posed the question to the members whether they were aware of two signs that someone is being abused
The first one is visible and involves a hand signal which indicates a cry for help – you place your thumb across your palm and close your fingers over it
The second one is and may involve situations where someone in a bar is feeling threatened, they can approach the bartender and ask " Is Angela here?" Bartenders are taught this as a sign of distress
The organisation maintains an up-to-date website which provides ample resource materials including videos about issues of abuse. There is a link to a you tube video below
The website for Rotary Safe Families is :
It goes without saying that Rotary does not condone abuse.