Since November 2015, Castle Towers Shopping Centre has partnered with Women’s Community Shelters to deliver an ambitious new crisis accommodation project, women’s refuge – ‘The Sanctuary’ – in Castle Hill, Sydney, through the provision of a fully refurbished six-bedroom home on a three year lease at no rental charge.
The Sanctuary provides crisis accommodation for women and their children who are leaving domestic violence for up to three months at a time, with around the clock care, support and assistance to then start a new life.
In their first year of operation, The Sanctuary has changed 117 lives by providing a safe haven for 43 women and 74 children.
It has added 7,117 “bed nights” into the sector – meaning that on 7,117 occasions a mother and her children slept safely in beds at The Sanctuary.
21,352 meals have been prepared and consumed at The Sanctuary.
Staff have fielded over 2,080 calls (an average of about 8 per day) including self-referrals as well as calls from referral agencies including the FACS DV Hotline. Link To Home, and Mission Australia.
423 successful referrals have been made to agencies that help support women of The Sanctuary for employment, training, income streams, appropriate health care and cultural and linguistic services.
In a sector where five out of 10 women who take refuge in government funded shelters will return to the cycle of violence — so far, at The Sanctuary, 100% of the 43 women and 74 children who have taken refuge have transitioned safely on to new independent lives.
CEO of Women's Community Shelters, Annabelle Daniel, said the results to date have been outstanding and something the team are very proud of.
"The Sanctuary has set a new benchmark for women’s shelters in the quality and environment of the home itself – an important factor in allowing women and their children to feel safe, comfortable and secure as they rebuild their lives," Ms Daniel said.
"This invaluable partnership is driving change throughout the whole community through education and awareness, allowing everyone to know more, see more and do more to address domestic and family violence."
Annabelle Daniel, CEO of Women's Community Shelters