WEL NSW welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor on behalf of the NSW Government of a $500 million investment in additional refuges for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence. WEL spokesperson Jozefa Sobski said: “Women’s refuges prevent ongoing violence by enabling women and children experiencing violence to leave. This investment is even more important at this time because we know violence against women has increased during COVID”.
WEL has been campaigning for a major increase in these specialist services for many years. The new funding over four years to support self-contained accommodation will definitely have an impact on addressing the scourge of violence.
“WEL hopes that staff recruited to run these additional services will be experienced and receive appropriate training for the diverse cultural contexts in which they will have to work. WEL Spokesperson, Jozefa Sobski said, “We recognise the need for additional purpose built refuges to meet demand, but many of the existing refuges are in old unsuitable housing stock and urgently require upgrading to a core and cluster model. We also hope that funding does not simply flow to large organisations. Many community based women’s organisations are better placed to respond to local needs.”
Ms Sobski also supported the announcement of $52.5 m funding for community housing to provide 200 social and affordable dwellings for women experiencing domestic violence. Ms Sobski pointed out that many women had experienced financial abuse as part of the violence, and did not have financial resources to access ongoing housing after leaving crisis accommodation in a refuge. She noted that there was a great need in this area, especially with spiralling housing prices.
Media Contact: Jozefa Sobski 0403 895929