Destroy the Joint campaign: Treat detained with dignity

THREE Bega Valley women have shown strong support for asylum seekers.

Jo Dodds, Mara Roberts and Jane Blomfield are looking to play their part in improving conditions for asylum seekers, particularly women.

The trio have thrown their weight behind a campaign run by online feminist group, Destroy the Joint.

The campaign was sparked by RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees), which has claimed mistreatment in some detention centres.

RISE claims asylum seeker women had been forced to go to SERCO officers to ask for tampons and pads when menstruating, and were given just one or two at a time (Sydney Morning Herald, 7/1).

The SMH reported that Destroy the Joint had called for its supporters to send unused tampons and pads to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s office, to “say no to the bloody humiliation of refugee women”.

On Friday, Ms Dodds, Ms Roberts and Ms Blomfield undertook a similar stand by bringing unused tampons to Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Peter Hendy’s Bega office.

Dr Hendy was not in attendance, with the three women presenting the tampons and a letter of explanation to electoral officer Kristi Fristad.

Ms Dodds said she wasn’t sure if the allegations by RISE were true.

However, she said it highlighted the issue of providing “humane treatment of people in detention”.

According to Ms Dodds, providing basic women’s needs could be a “sticky issue”.

“We are concerned about female asylum seekers,” she said.

“They have a limited supply [of items] and have to ask for the guards’ help.

“A lot of these women are from a modest background…it’s degrading and embarrassing.”

Ms Dodds, Ms Roberts and Ms Blomfield requested Dr Hendy pass on their message to Mr Morrison.

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