On Wednesday 2nd May, WEL handed in your postcards and signatures to cross-party politicians at NSW Parliament House. The Singing Out Strong (SOS) women’s choir, made up of survivors of domestic violence, sang out loud in the Parliament foyer to draw attention to the importance of specialist women’s refuges. Two members of the choir shared their own personal experiences of domestic violence and support, explaining how refuge accommodation and services helped them after leaving violent relationships. Click HERE to visit a Facebook Live video from the event
Members of the SOS Choir with Jenny Aitchison, MP, Maitland (ALP)Members of the SOS Choir with Jenny Aitchison, MP, Maitland (ALP)

Thank you for signing on to be part of this campaign. Thousands of community members in NSW have sent in postcards and signed online to Keep the lights on in women’s refugesAs you know, WEL is urging the NSW government respond to domestic violence by realistically funding specialist women’s domestic violence refuges to meet current demand. Refuge staff should not have to turn women away. 

We need a game changer and we know that NOW is the time to act. Will you chip in $10 or $20 to help fund the next steps of our campaign?

We know that current strategies and lack of funds are failing women who experience domestic and family violence (see SMH article, 2nd May Domestic violence scheme failing to protect women). Effective prevention and intervention programs are key, but so is providing immediate accommodation and services for women leaving violence in the home. Here's more about why we need a Government funding commitment for specialist women’s refuges now as homelessness rises in NSW.

We have an opportunity to strengthen services and expand specialist domestic violence refuges so that no women and children are turned away. We want to keep refuge doors open for women who courageously say no to violence and who need professional services and support.

As part of the women's refuge movement we all understand that to save lives we need to secure additional, long term funding for specialist women's refuges and support services. 

Will you help us win by supporting our next steps for this campaign?

Politicians accept WEL's postcards requesting funds for refugesL to R: Paul Green, MLC – (Christian Democrats), Robert Brown MLC (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) and Penny Sharpe MLC (ALP), who along with Jenny Aitchison, MP, Maitland (ALP), Mehreen Faruqi, MLC (Greens) and Alex Greenwich, MP, Sydney (Ind) took receipt of WEL's postcards. Robert Borsak MLC (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) is on far right.  

In NSW, domestic violence continues to be the leading cause of homelessness, and causes huge financial, health and other costs to individuals, and to the community as a whole. In Australia last year, 50 women died as a result of domestic or family violence and thousands more suffered. Domestic violence contributes more than any other factor to the burden of disease for women, aged between 22-44 yrs. KPMG estimated the cost of violence against women and their children in Australia in 2015–16 at $22 billion.

The NSW Government has the opportunity to address this issue now. Let's keep the pressure on!

Please continue your support by donating today. Together we can win this!

Thanks for being part of this campaign to change women's lives.