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One in three Australian women experience domestic violence in their lifetime and, tragically, a woman dies at the hands of a domestic perpetrator almost every week.
Additionally, there are one million Australian children growing up in violent homes.
Open Support's (previously Sisters of Charity Outreach) long-running Safe Haven crisis accommodation and support service aims to reduce the grave impact of domestic and family violence in the community by providing safe accommodation for women and children, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
"We take them in at a moment's notice, no matter the time of day or night; give them and their children a safe place to stay; feed, house, counsel and support them; and assist them with finding suitable accommodation. And, as so many of them have no income or access to government services, we help them get back on their financial feet," Safe Haven's Coordinator, Sharon Sutherland says.
Open Support is currently one of only a handful of domestic violence support services in NSW to offer a program which recognises that child victims of domestic violence, of all ages, require age-specific, child-focused trauma counselling and support. "The ramifications of children being in a family where domestic violence has been the norm is that these children are so affected by what has happened that they miss their usual milestones and in their day-to-day lives. Many of them are traumatised by what they've seen and heard." Sharon says.
Find out how you can help Open Support to continue to address this important unmet social need by being there for these women and children here.