Authorities of Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) on Monday announced to establish more refuges to provide support services for domestic violence victims.
The 39 new refuges will be designed in the new Core and Cluster model, an innovative approach that provides independent living and access to critical services such as counselling, legal assistance and further education on site, said NSW Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward.
The refuges, to be established in areas where there is high unmet demand for services, are expected to support 2,900 more women and children each year who have escaped domestic abuse, reports Xinhua news agency.
Monday’s announcement is part of the NSW government’s funding of A$426 million ($283 million) being invested in the Core and Cluster program to deliver new refuges that will be operational by the end of 2025-2026.
NSW Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said in addition to the Core and Cluster program, approximately 200 social and affordable homes for women experiencing domestic and family violence will be provided, as well as dedicated support for up to 3,200 accompanied children and young people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
Domestic and family violence was the leading cause of homelessness for women and children in NSW, with 39 per cent of all people who accessed specialist homelessness services in 2019-2020 reporting that they had experienced domestic and family violence, according to the authorities.