Women and children escaping domestic and family violence in the Cootamundra electorate will soon receive greater support with expressions of interest for the first of round of funding for new women’s refuges set to open on 9 May.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is encouraging local organisations to apply for NSW Government funding to deliver new women’s refuges in our region.

“The NSW Government is prioritising supporting victim-survivors of Domestic Violence across NSW and this funding is being made available to deliver refuges to support women and children leaving violence,” Ms Cooke said.

“The roll out of new women’s refuges is the first step in helping victim-survivors start their new life, and I am very keen to see local organisations put in for this new funding opportunity.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the NSW Government’s $426 million commitment over four years to establish new refuges is the single largest investment in the state’s history to address domestic abuse.

“No one should live their life in fear, but all too often women stay in violent relationships because they feel they have nowhere to go,” Mrs Ward said.

“Our record investment shows we are sending a strong message that enough is enough. Women who make the courageous decision to leave an abusive partner can feel secure knowing they will have a safe haven to go to where they can begin rebuilding their lives.

Self-contained accommodation is located alongside services including counselling, legal assistance, and education and employment support.

The sites may also feature meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.

Next week, Minister Ward will host a roundtable with domestic violence advocacy groups, specialist homelessness services and peak bodies to discuss the roll out.

Expressions of interest will also open shortly to apply for the first round of funding and interested parties should monitor the NSW e-tendering site for the latest information: https://www.tenders.nsw.gov.au/ 

For confidential advice, support and referrals, contact: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), The NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63), NSW Rape Crisis (1800 424 017) or Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491). In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).