South Australia’s first State Government-led safety hub has opened in Murray Bridge today.
The hub will provide local women and their children living in, or at risk of, a violence or abusive situation better access to the support and information they need.
To be known as “The Haven”, the Murray Bridge location is the first of nine to be opened by the Liberal Government across regional areas of the state.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said The Haven, which is located within the Murray Bridge Community Centre, will provide local supports so women don’t have to travel far to get the help they need.
“Each safety hub will be tailored to address the specific needs of the local community, with the models in each region informed by consultation at domestic violence roundtable forums held earlier in the year,” said Minister Lensink.
“Today in Murray Bridge, we’ve opened an information and referral service that’s located within an existing community centre, is staffed by trained volunteers and provides women targeted information and referrals to local services.
“This includes access to specialist domestic, family and sexual violence services, as well as assistance with housing and legal matters.”
Minister Lensink said the State Government wants to make it as easy as possible for regional women to access local support, which is the main purpose of the safety hubs.
“I’m thrilled to see The Haven open today, as the services offered could be life-changing for many women and their children in the Murray and Mallee region,” said Minister Lensink.
“The volunteers will be able to recognise what support women and their children need and provide appropriate information, referrals or direct support – so huge thanks to them.”
Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Carolyn Power said any information shared with volunteers at The Haven is treated sensitively.
“If women are being referred to other services, the worker will contact the other service provider first, so women don’t have to keep repeating their stories,” said Mrs Power.
Under the Liberal Government’s election commitment, safety hubs will be rolled out across nine regional locations throughout the state.
“The other safety hubs will be opened progressively, taking different forms depending on the needs of the region, to ensure the best targeted support and information for women is provided at that local level.”
The Haven is located at the Murray Bridge Community Centre and can be contacted on 0402 889 542. It is open Monday and Friday 9am to 4pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12:30pm to 4pm, and Wednesday 9am to 12:30pm.
The Haven is a partnership between the State Government and the Murray Bridge Community Centre, with support from local community organisations.
For more information about local safety hubs and other safety initiatives for women, see officeforwomen.sa.gov.au/safety