New family and domestic violence service
Safe at home program to help victims stay in the family home
Families and friends urged to look for signs of domestic violence
A new service in Perth's north-east is giving women and children who are escaping family and domestic violence, the option to stay safe in their homes.
Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said the Ellenbrook Safe at Home program addressed a gap in services in the growing north-eastern suburbs.
"I'm especially pleased to see this program begin operating at this time of year because Christmas can be a difficult time for some families," Mrs Morton said.
"Issues like alcohol consumption and financial and social stressors can contribute to an escalation and risk of family and domestic violence over the Christmas period."
The Minister said women and children experiencing domestic violence should not be forced to flee, while the perpetrator remained in the family home.
"For victims, being at home means their support networks and job security are maintained and, where it is safe to do so, this service will support victims to stay at home," she said.
"This Ellenbrook Safe at Home service, the seventh of its kind to be rolled out in Western Australia, assess victims' support and safety needs, including referrals to support services and security upgrades to the home.
"Where staying at home is not a safe option, victims will be assisted with the cost of finding new accommodation, setting up home and starting children at new schools."
The service is delivered by The Patricia Giles Centre and will become part of the Ellenbrook Women's Refuge when it opens in early 2016.
Mrs Morton urged people to take extra care over the Christmas period to be aware of the signs that someone they care about could be experiencing abuse.
"Those signs can include: unexplained physical injuries, fear, description of a partner as controlling or often angry, or isolation from family and friends," she said.
"If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence; listen to what they have to say, believe what they tell you, take the abuse seriously and encourage and help them to get support."
Family and domestic violence support services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the Christmas period and include:
Crisis Care Helpline: 1800 199 008
Women's Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 007 339
Men's Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 000 599
Ellenbrook Safe at Home: 9374 0747
WA Police respond to about 40,000 family and domestic violence incidents from across the State. In more than 65% of these cases, children were present
In 2015-16, the State Government will provide $34.6 million to deliver family and domestic violence services across the State
Minister's office - 6552 6900