Life Without Barriers is supporting the 16 Days in WA campaign to stop violence against women.
The campaign begins today on 25 November, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December, which is Human Rights Day.
We are supporting the 16 Days in WA campaign to raise awareness and oppose violence against women. This is an issue that is close to our hearts and all too real for us as we operate the Warren Blackwood Emergency Accommodation Centre in WA which provides short term crisis accommodation in a safe environment for women and children escaping family and domestic violence.
About our Emergency Accommodation Centre
The centre provides support from the minute a woman enters their doors, until well after they have left. Firstly they provide a warm, safe place to stay and food and clothing. Then they advocate, where needed, for restraining orders and set up financial counselling, tenancy support, liaison with a family and domestic violence coordinator, victim impact services and counselling services. In short, the staff at our centre wrap support around women who desperately need help to keep them safe both that night, but into the future. If her safety is of concern, they will then liaise with other refuges in WA to transport her to a safe place.
Centre welcomes rescued woman found in police search
Recently local police were searching a property for which they had a search warrant. The warrant was unrelated to domestic violence. During the search they found a woman who was distressed and had been in an abusive situation for the past seven days. The police acted swiftly and brought the woman to the centre, where she was admitted and also taken to hospital for a medical assessment.
Staff at the centre quickly supported her with her immediate needs
They provided food and clothing, help to secure a crisis payment, referrals to a counsellor for both her mental health and her financial needs and a family and domestic violence coordinator supported her to bring charges against the perpetrator and access victim support. They then worked with her to ensure her long term safety, such as creating her own bank account and getting a new phone number.
Over an eight week period the client was able to secure a rental property for her and her child and get her live and independence back.
Support continues in her new home
Once a client has moved out of the centre, the support thankfully doesn’t cease. Staff continue to help women by providing furniture and household goods for her home. They assist with rental inspections, support her in person if she needs to attend court and continue to provide an outreach service to ensure she has support should things become too overwhelming.
Having someone to call can be the make or break between a women staying in her own home or returning to a violent partner.
In 2018, Western Australia recorded the largest number of family and domestic violence related homicide offences in Australia, with 37 victims. That is why it is so important to stand up to violence against women. Learn more about the 16 Days in WA here, including ways you can get involved.
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