A new women’s refuge has been officially opened today in Kwinana, ensuring better services for women who are escaping family and domestic violence.
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk launched the completed refuge, which will offer women and children a safe place to call home during a crisis.
The refuge has been named ‘Andrea Mia’ in tribute to Andrea Pickett, who was killed by her husband in 2009 in shocking circumstances.
Ms Pickett’s death led to the 2012 Hope Inquest, and was a catalyst for significant change in the Western Australian family and domestic violence system. Ms Pickett’s family members have given their permission and blessing for the refuge’s name.
The Lucy Saw Centre Association will operate the new refuge, which will strengthen the capacity and capability of existing family and domestic violence support services in Western Australia.
The Lucy Saw Centre Association is an established and well-known family and domestic violence service provider that already supports women, children and the community in Perth’s south.
From a small house in the Rockingham area, the Lucy Saw Centre has grown to be the lead agency in the metropolitan south-west corridor for high-risk service provision. It recently marked 40 years of service in the Rockingham and Kwinana area.
The Andrea Mia refuge will significantly increase available crisis accommodation, adding welcomed additional support for the services currently offered in the Kwinana area.
The project was originally six units, built at a cost of $2.5 million, but the McGowan Government announced an additional $2 million investment in the Kwinana refuge as part of WA Recovery Plan.
The additional funds are enabling six more accommodation units to be built at the site, with the expansion works expected to be completed by June 2021.
The launch of the Kwinana refuge follows last week’s official opening of ‘Warlang Bidi – Supporting Women and Children’, which is the State’s first therapeutic women’s refuge, in Peel.
The launch of the Andrea Mia refuge coincides with day 11 of the government’s fourth annual 16 Days in WA campaign to stop violence against women and their families.
The campaign, which has a theme of ‘Respect Starts With You’ in 2020, aims to shift community attitudes and views that can lead to violence occurring.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“The statistics for family and domestic violence continue to shock – more than one in five women has experienced some kind of violence or abuse from a current or previous partner.
“The Andrea Mia refuge will further strengthen the services available to women and children who experience family and domestic violence in the Kwinana area, so their needs for crisis accommodation can be met quickly and safely.
“It will also cater for clients with specific needs, including women with a disability, women with larger families, older women, Aboriginal women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“Andrea’s tragic murder in 2009 led to numerous improvements across the service system for women escaping family and domestic violence.
“The name of the Andrea Mia refuge will serve as an important reminder that all women escaping family and domestic violence should be offered a safe space and treated with respect and dignity.”
Comments attributed Kwinana MLA Roger Cook:
“Family and domestic violence is an awful reality for too many women and children across Western Australia, and unfortunately the Kwinana community has also been impacted by this senseless violence.
“The Kwinana refuge will provide a vital service to women and children experiencing violence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I’m proud to be part of a McGowan Government that prioritised supporting women and children experiencing family and domestic violence at the 2017 election, and has delivered on this important promise to the Kwinana community.”