Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell welcomed assistant minister for social services and prevention of family violence Justine Elliot to McEwen last week to visit one of the five Safe Places in the Mitchell Shire.
The Safe Places, established through Rural Housing, supports more than 75 women and children in the Mitchell Shire each year.
Safe Places is a capital works program funding the building, renovation or purchase of emergency accommodation for women and children leaving family and domestic violence.
As part of the 2022-23 Federal Budget, the government announced an additional $100 million over five years to continue the program.
The Safe Places Inclusion Round will increase the number of new and appropriate emergency accommodation places across Australia, with a focus on providing support for First Nations women and children, women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and women and children with disability.
Mr Mitchell said the government was committed to supporting more women and children escaping family violence, including those in rural and regional areas.
“Family and domestic violence is the main reason women and children leave their homes in Australia and is the leading cause of homelessness for women,” he said.
“Access to safe accommodation is fundamental to the immediate safety of women and children experiencing family and domestic violence.”
Ms Elliot said the upcoming Safe Places Inclusion Round would deliver about 720 new safe places, taking the total number being delivered in the program to about 1480 across Australia when completed.
“Women and their children are often faced with housing uncertainty when trying to escape violent living situations,” she said.
“Isolation and limited access to resources often makes women and children located rurally more vulnerable to remaining in family violence than their urban counterparts.
“The Safe Places program is vital in ensuring families have a safe place to go, where they can also be supported by specialist wrap around family and domestic violence services.”