• Supporting women and children

Pop-up safe home is open on the Northern Beaches for women and children

A ‘pop-up’ safe house for women and children escaping domestic and family violence is open on the northern beaches, to cater for an expected rise in demand as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Trish Bramble, general manager of the Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre, said while women are not reporting abuse to police because they are trapped in their homes with their perpetrator, they have been seeking information and help from frontline services in greater numbers.
However, many have been reluctant up until now to leave abusive partners for fear of putting themselves and their children at risk of catching the coronavirus by moving into a group home.
Last year alone, Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre supported 940 women and children on the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore. Thanks to the fallout from COVID19, that figure is likely to be much higher this year.
But some relief is on the way for the silent victims of the pandemic.
The NSW Government invested more than $1 million to deliver an interim safe house over the next six-months.
While lockdown has helped prevent the spread of the virus, a disturbing side effect has been the rise of domestic violence incidents, as families live ever closer together and financial pressure mounts.
Member for Manly James Griffin said: “The problem is, for thousands of women, men and children who suffer domestic violence – safety at home simply doesn’t exist. For those people, home doesn’t offer solace or support; it’s more likely a place of terror and one which they may very well need to urgently escape.”
Manly Daily May 20, 2020
The interim accommodation services, delivered by the Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre and a support partner will ensure highly vulnerable women and their children have a roof over their heads and expert services to help them resume a new life just when they need it most.

“Our focus is to help both women and children…and offer not just a refuge but a path toward a more secure life.
We have case workers dedicated to helping the mother’s wellbeing, as well as all the logistical components of restarting a life. We also run courses specifically for the children to help break the cycle of violence and to help them through very challenging times.
Importantly with this funding local families can stay here on the Northern Beaches and the children can continue to go to local schools which provides great stability and security” said the General Manager, Trish Bramble.

The interim (pop up) refuge, will be able to house up to 90 individuals or 35 families.
“We’d like to thank Mayor Regan, James Griffin MP & Zali Steggall MP for their diligence in getting the funding for this vital operation. It’s going to make a real difference in our community just when we need it most.
It sends a strong signal that there IS somewhere to turn; that there IS somewhere safe; that there ARE people who will support you” said Ms Bramble.
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