Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk has announced the operators of the McGowan Government’s new family and domestic violence women’s refuges in Peel and Kwinana.
Ovis Community Services (formerly known as Pat Thomas House) has been awarded the contract to operate the Peel Family and Domestic Violence Therapeutic Women’s Refuge, which will be the first refuge to offer therapeutic support to women escaping violence in Western Australia.
The Lucy Saw Centre Association has been awarded the contract to operate the Kwinana Family and Domestic Violence Women’s Refuge.
Construction of both refuges is well advanced and on track for service delivery to begin before the end of 2020.
Both Ovis Community Services and the Lucy Saw Centre Association already hold service provision contracts with the State Government in the area of family and domestic violence.
Under the contract for service delivery in Peel, Ovis Community Services will operate the refuge using a therapeutic model that will manage each person’s needs as a whole to get their lives back on track.
As well as providing accommodation for women and children escaping violence, the therapeutic refuge will provide coordinated tailored services for family and domestic violence victims who may have mental health concerns and/or harm from alcohol and other drugs.
These services will be delivered through partnerships with multi-disciplinary services, including mental health professionals, domestic violence support workers, alcohol and drug counsellors, nurses and other providers.
Other services offered in Peel will include arranging appropriate care for women with complex health issues and supporting women whose children have been taken into care.
The Kwinana refuge will also 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.
The refuges have combined construction costs of about $9 million, after the State Government announced a $4 million expansion of the refuges in July, as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
The new investment enables the construction of six additional accommodation units at each of the two sites over the next 12 months, which will double their capacity.
The awarding of the two management contracts follows a service model co-design process and consultation with a range of stakeholders, to understand their needs in establishing and using the refuges.
Participants in these discussions included family and domestic violence survivors, community service providers, peak bodies and government agencies.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“Family and domestic violence is an awful reality for too many women and children in Western Australia.
“It can have serious and ongoing impacts on their health, including physical injuries, poor mental health, reproductive health problems, harm from alcohol or other drugs and – in the most tragic cases – death.
“The new operators of the McGowan Government’s Peel and Kwinana refuges both have a strong track record in delivering services for women and children.
“I look forward to ongoing partnerships being developed in the establishment of these new and much-needed services, which will provide vital specialist services for women and children escaping violence.”
As stated by Mandurah MLA David Templeman:
“Before the 2017 State election, I consulted closely with the Pat Thomas House board, Allambee Counselling and other local service providers, and it became apparent that we needed a new family and domestic violence refuge in the Peel region.
“I sought an election commitment for a new refuge from a McGowan Labor Government if elected, and I am very proud that this has now been delivered.
“I’m also particularly pleased that the tender to operate this innovative service has been won by a local partnership, OVIS (formerly Pat Thomas House) and Allambee Counselling.”
As stated by Kwinana MLA Roger Cook:
“Family and domestic violence affects Western Australians of all backgrounds, their families and communities, and unfortunately the Kwinana community is 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.
“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.”