New refuge to ease demand

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Lucy Saw executive officer Anne Moore at the announcement of a funding boost to the Kwinana refuge earlier in the year.
Camera IconLucy Saw executive officer Anne Moore at the announcement of a funding boost to the Kwinana refuge earlier in the year. Credit: Jake Dietsch/Sound Telegraph/Jake Dietsch/Sound Telegraph

A well-established Rockingham women’s refuge became operators of a new Kwinana-based facility last week, in light of a continued need for extra services across the local community.

The Lucy Saw Centre Association was awarded the contract to operate the Kwinana Family and Domestic Violence Women’s Refuge set to open at the end of the year.

The new refuge will provide safe accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence, addressing an identified need for such facilities in the area.

It will focus on women with disability, older women, Aboriginal women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and women with larger families, including those with older boys.

Lucy Saw Centre Association executive officer Anne Moore said she had seen the demand for refuge services grow, since first starting at Lucy Saw about 30 years ago.

“At the moment this new refuge will provide space for six families, but there is an option to build rooms for a further six in the future,” she said.

“There is definitely a demand, all our spots at Lucy Saw are currently taken and we get calls all the time. The Lucy Saw Centre is community living whereas the Kwinana one will have individual rooms so people will have their own space. It will be run 24/7 so clients can be referred in at any time.”

Ms Moore said she thought Kwinana was an ideal spot to open a new refuge. “It means we can do more in the community, some people may not even want to access refuge accommodation but just need that extra help and support,” she said.

“It is just going to be amazing. To have an extra service in the area means we can do so much more work in the community.”

“As a next step, I have always been keen on a funded counselling service, because counselling is unfunded at the moment, especially for children involved in family violence.”

The Kwinana refuge, and a new facility being built in Mandurah, have combined construction costs of about $9 million, after the State Government announced a $4 million expansion of the refuges.

Kwinana MLA Roger Cook said family and domestic violence affected people of all backgrounds, their families and communities, and unfortunately the Kwinana community was no exception.

“The new Kwinana refuge will provide a vital service to women and children experiencing violence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.

“With these facilities on track to start taking clients in the coming months, the Kwinana community will soon benefit from a significant increase in refuge capacity and additional support.”

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 007 339

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 000 599

1800 RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

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