Hon Robyn McSweeney BA JP MLC

Hon Robyn McSweeney BA JP MLC

Former Minister for Child Protection; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; Women's Interests; Youth

    New domestic violence refuge for WA women

    9/10/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • Minister opens women’s refuge
    • Refuge increases capacity for women and children escaping domestic violence
    Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney today officially opened the Rebecca West House, a facility which provides accommodation and support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

    The facility, run by the Patricia Giles Centre, had previously been operating as Damara House Refuge but has been expanded and renamed to honour Ms West who passed away in April this year.

    “Renaming this facility is an important acknowledgement of the dedication of this remarkable woman to the field of family and domestic violence,” Mrs McSweeney said.

    Employed as a police officer, Ms West’s commitment and study led to a State-wide reform of how domestic violence offences were handled by the police and the courts, and she was also a long-standing board member of the Patricia Giles Centre.

    Jointly funded by the Federal and State governments through the National Affordable Housing Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, the new purpose-built facility will have capacity to accommodate six women and their accompanying children. 

    “This will further increase the crisis accommodation placements available in the metropolitan region,” the Minister said.

    “This year the Department for Child Protection has provided $23million for specialist family and domestic violence accommodation and support services.

    “In addition, the department has provided funding of nearly $6.9million over four years to implement the Safe at Home and Domestic Violence Outreach services.”

    These services provide comprehensive support for women and children, allowing them to stay in their homes following domestic violence, when it is safe to do so.

    “Renaming this purpose-built facility, which provides accommodation and support for women and children experiencing domestic violence, will ensure that Rebecca West’s legacy lives on,” the Minister said.

    “Her tireless work and commitment in this field will not be forgotten, and will continue to inspire and motivate all of us in tackling this serious social issue.”

    Rebecca West House replaces an interim refuge that began operating in 2007, and only has capacity to house two women with up to two children each. The new facility will have the capacity to accommodate six women and their accompanying children.
     
          Fact File
    • The State’s 37 domestic violence accommodation and support services now provide a total of 205 crisis places and a total of 51 transitional places for women and children
    Minister's office - 6552 6340