A new women’s refuge in Kwinana will deliver crucial accommodation and support services to women and children escaping family and domestic violence.
The Kwinana refuge will be a purpose-built facility with a specific focus on women with disabilities, Aboriginal women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and women with larger families including older boys.
It will increase the State’s bed capacity and support existing family and domestic violence refuges in addressing demand for safe crisis accommodation.
The announcement comes after the State Government revealed plans earlier this year for a refuge in the Peel region, which will for the first time in WA use a therapeutic model that looks at each person’s needs as a whole.
The two new facilities, which are due to commence operations in November 2020, will be delivered as part of a suite of reforms supporting the McGowan Government’s Stopping Family and Domestic Violence policy.
The announcement of the Kwinana refuge comes on the final day of the State Government’s 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which coincides with International Human Rights Day.
The campaign, which is now in its third year, aims to raise awareness about family and domestic violence in Western Australia and educate people about what they can do or say to help save lives.
The 2019 campaign’s theme encouraged people to ‘speak out’ and call out inappropriate behaviour towards women every day of the year, to foster a culture of respect and reduce WA’s high rates of family and domestic violence.
Among the high-profile Western Australians to embrace these messages and lend their support to the 2019 campaign were: WA Premier Mark McGowan, WACA CEO Christina Matthews, Wildcats captain Damian Martin, Olympian Aran Zalewski and West Coast Eagles’ inaugural AFLW coach Luke Dwyer.
Eight prominent Western Australians – author Tim Winton, musician Stella Donnelly, law reform campaigner Noelle Martin, deaf rights advocate Drisana Levitzke-Gray, youth leader Bellamore Ndayikeze, Noongar actor and director Ian Michael, inclusive workplaces adviser Conrad Liveris and actor Myles Pollard – were also involved in the campaign as ‘Agents of Change’, alongside Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk.
This year’s campaign was launched at Optus Stadium, where more than 100 business, community and government leaders stood together in support of ending violence against women and children.
Significantly, during 16 Days in WA the McGowan Government announced the most comprehensive family violence law reform package ever seen in WA.
Other campaign highlights included the lighting up of WA buildings and monuments in orange, which is the campaign colour, and Minister McGurk joining with Ms Donnelly and Safer Venues WA co-founder Kate Daniel at Freo.Social to call for entertainment venues and their patrons to help create safe and respectful environments.
Further information and 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women resources are available here: https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/projects/16-days-in-wa/
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“Family and domestic violence affects Western Australians of all backgrounds, with devastating effects on victims, their families and communities.
“The Kwinana women’s refuge will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be staffed at all times to provide timely support and culturally safe services to clients.
“The two women’s refuges will deliver commitments made by the McGowan Government and, crucially, meet the needs of women and their children fleeing family and domestic violence all year round.
“16 Days in WA continues to go from strength to strength, and while it ends today, we must keep speaking out to stop violence against women every day of the year.”
As stated by Kwinana MLA Roger Cook:
“The Kwinana refuge will be a critical service in meeting the needs of women and their children, including culturally and linguistically diverse residents in the area.
“This facility will support and help women and children affected by domestic violence, and is of enormous benefit to the Kwinana community.”