Safety hubs available for at-risk women

Safety hubs available for at-risk women

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Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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At-risk women in regional areas have access to more domestic violence support than ever before thanks to a new state-first network of safety hubs.

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At-risk women in regional areas have access to more domestic violence support than ever before thanks to a new state-first network of safety hubs.

The hubs, open in places from Mount Gambier to Berri and Port Augusta, help South Australians seek help, information and referrals when they need it.

On Friday (October 22), a seventh women's safety hub will open in Whyalla - fast-tracked through a $325,000 injection from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SA government committed to extending safety hubs into regional SA.

Seven are up and running, with further hubs opening in Goolwa and Port Pirie - and a 10th hub set to open in Port Lincoln.

Hubs are tailored to each region.

All provide information and referrals for DV support, as well as housing, police and legal matters, family intervention, financial counselling, mental health medical services or drug and alcohol services.

Most also offer private drop-in spaces with phone and computer access - a simple but vital service for women who can't freely seek information or access services in their own home.

Women in regional areas can also access state-wide programs and schemes, including the 24/7 Domestic Violence Crisis Line and Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - both funded and delivered by the SA government.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink urged at-risk women right across SA to seek support if they need it.

"Ensuring at-risk women and their children have access to support, help and safe accommodation no matter where they live in SA remains a priority," she said.

"That's why the SA government has invested a record $21 million - and counting - on a suite of new DV measures to support at-risk women and children right across the state.

"We know that the insidious scourge of DV does not stop in Adelaide and that's why we have rolled out state-first safety hubs that are providing vital support for women and their children in our regions which compliment a range of other initiatives to help our regional communities.

"Our new safety hubs represent an unprecedented level of support for women in regional SA, making it easier than ever before for women to get the information and referrals they need for themselves and their children."

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Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Assistant Minister Carolyn Power said consultation with regional communities was a key driver in establishing the safety hubs.

"We immediately held a series of domestic violence roundtables across SA when we formed government, because it was our priority to listen and respond to the unique needs of each region," she said.

"We've been told by women who access regional safety hubs just how much the service provides an important place of safety, connection and peace for them.

"Safety hubs not only help women to access advice they need - but the training and up-skilling of local volunteers helps to boost community understanding about domestic violence and empowers more people to know how to help each other."

The new regional safety hubs are located at:

  • Murray Bridge - The Haven at Murray Bridge Community Centre, 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. Now open.
  • Berri - contact Riverland Domestic Violence Service on (08) 8582 2100, after hours at 1800 800 098 or at rdvs@centacare.org.au. Now open.
  • Port Augusta - run by KWY, 47 Stirling Rd Port Augusta. Now open.
  • Gawler - The Haven at Gawler Community Centre, 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. Now open.
  • Mount Barker - The Haven at Mount Barker Community Centre, 9am-4pm Monday to Thursday, 9am-3.30pm Friday; Willows Children's Centre, Tuesday mornings during school term. Now open.
  • Mount Gambier - The Haven at Mount Gambier Library, 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.
  • Whyalla - The Haven at Centacare Catholic Country SA Whyalla opens late October 2021
  • Goolwa - now recruiting volunteers
  • Port Pirie - now recruiting volunteers
  • Port Lincoln - TBA

In addition, the government funds the newly established state-wide Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Alliance which includes the following frontline services the regions:

  • Limestone Coast Domestic Violence Service (Centacare Catholic Family Services)
  • Murray Mallee and Adelaide Hills Domestic Violence Service (Centacare Catholic Family Services)
  • Whyalla Regional Domestic Violence Service (Centacare Catholic Family Services)
  • Riverland Domestic Violence Service (Centacare Catholic Family Services)
  • Yorke and Mid-North Domestic Violence Service (Uniting Country SA)
  • Port Augusta Regional Domestic Violence and Aboriginal Family Violence Service (Uniting Country SA)
  • Ceduna Domestic Violence and Aboriginal Family Violence Service (Centacare Catholic Country SA)
  • Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island Domestic Violence Service (Junction SA)
  • Pt Lincoln Regional Domestic and Family Violence Service (Yarredi Services Inc.)

Outside of the state-wide DFV Alliance the government also funds:

  • NPY Women's Council Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Service (NPY Women's Council)
  • Coober Pedy Homelessness and Domestic & Aboriginal Family Violence Service (Uniting Country SA)

The hubs complement a range of other new DV initiatives that specifically serve the needs of regional communities, including:

  • $4 million for 40 new crisis accommodation beds, including 17 in regional areas in Limestone Coast, Murray Mallee and Eyre and Western.
  • $200,000 from the National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence allocated to Centacare Catholic Country SA for a community recovery and primary prevention project in the Riverland, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Lincoln.
  • $289,000 also from the National Partnership to further fund perpetrator interventions, including Aboriginal organisation KWY to increase outreach capacity in regional communities.
  • Details: Contact: Domestic Violence Crisis Line 1800 800 098 or 1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732

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