Defenders for Hope is a registered charity op shop which has provided aid to domestic violence victims in Logan Village and surrounding suburbs since June 2021.
The op shop was founded by Tomeeka Smith, her sister-in-law Elise, and her sister Tina after a domestic violence attack took the life of a close family friend.
In March 2021, Doreen Langham was killed by her former partner in a Browns Plains housefire.
“She had been a family friend forever; I’d known her since I was little,” Tomeeka said.
“After that we kind of just looked at it all and thought – it’s just too much.
“We decided we wanted to do something about it.”
Tomeeka and her family were always passionate about helping the community.
“Mum had instilled in us that we have a duty to help people, and this is how we wanted to help,” she said.
Since the charity opened in June 2021, Defenders for Hope has provided support to vulnerable people through a range of services.
Their counsellors specialise in general mindset and wellbeing, empowering teenage girls, and working with mothers and sons to break generational cycles of domestic violence.
Once a month, the op shop fundraises for other charities in domestic violence, including YFS, who’s services include helping parents and children that are homeless or have fled unsafe homes.
Defenders for Hope is now making ‘defender packs’ for YFS to distribute to children filled with general items they can take with them.
“It all has to be brand-new stuff … the money we make as an op-shop, we use to fill the backpacks.”
Tomeeka said domestic violence was particularly prevalent in Yarrabilba where she lives.
“Were seen so much domestic violence around this area – it’s actually quite disturbing,” she said.
“That’s why we want to help.”
Defenders for Hope wanted to bring up the conversation about domestic violence and bring awareness of it in the community.
“We’ve spoken to counsellors, and spoken to real estate agents, and it’s actually a lot more than people realize, and nobody wants to talk about it.
“It’s not as rare as everyone thinks,” Tomeeka said.
On the 6th August 2021 while Logan was in lockdown, the Queensland Police Service posted a Facebook announcement advising that people could leave their home during the lockdown if they felt unsafe or needed to access support.
“We know it’s a vulnerable time for victims of domestic and family violence, and support services will still operate,” they said.
Defenders for Hope is open from 9-4pm on Monday-Saturday at unit 6/10 Industrial Avenue in Logan Village.
The op-shops sells pre-loved donated items, including but not limited to clothing, accessories, homewares, bric-a-brac, furniture, toys, DVD’s and books.
To connect with Defenders for Hope;
- Visit them in-store at 6/10 Industrial Ave, Logan Village,
- Follow @defenders_for_hope on Instagram, or
- Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/defendersforhope/ .