Expanded Griffith refuge to support domestic violence victims

Women and children escaping domestic violence in the Western Murrumbidgee region will receive services and support in two brand new houses purpose-built around an existing crisis refuge in Griffith.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman and Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward announced the completion of the project this week.

Mr Speakman said the new Core and Cluster homes are part of an innovative approach to crisis accommodation for women.

The cluster refers to the homes or units accommodating families, which surround the core that consists of office space and communal areas where residents access services like counselling as well as practical supports to rebuild their lives.

“The houses will give women and children privacy, independence as well as access to specialist homelessness and domestic violence services,” Mr Speakman said.

“The model creates a supportive family-friendly environment, with space for families to navigate this understandably traumatising time and begin to heal.”

Mr Ward said the NSW Government has committed $4 million to trial the Core and Cluster model in four regional areas across NSW.

“Griffith is the first Core and Cluster project to be completed in NSW, and expands the refuge’s current capacity by almost 50 per cent,” Mr Ward said.

“If women flee their homes due to violence, we want to prevent them from becoming homeless, by providing services and support to help secure safe and stable housing.

“This has also helped create local jobs, including through the Griffith-based builder engaged to construct the new homes.”

This project boosts domestic violence supports available for women in Griffith and surrounding towns including Leeton, Narrandera, Hay and West Wyalong.

The homes have been fitted with air conditioning, security systems and solar energy generation, along with outdoor areas and an integrated play area for children.

Linking Communities Network’s Chief Executive Officer Yvonnne Wilson welcomed the different types of support the refuge can now offer the region’s women and children who come into its care.

“Core and Cluster caters for a range of family dynamics, and responds to the needs of clients beyond the traditional refuge-style accommodation,” Ms Wilson said.

“Women and children have the right to live their lives free of violence and this model of service delivery gives them the time and space to achieve this.”

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