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Creating a haven at Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a domestic violence shelter in Western Sydney.

It houses women and families fleeing domestic violence from all over Australia. Families can get on a plane, sometimes with nothing but themselves, and they’ll be bought here, fed, clothed, housed and importantly helped through the mire of legal and social services obligations that face a family in that situation.

This shelter operates with no government funding, relying on donations of generous patrons.

This is why the Sebastian Foundation was so keen to help out here. The team who keep this place going are so passionate about it and work so hard to keep food on the table and pay their bills that there’s often nothing left to think about the state of the flooring, how comfy the couch is or whether they have the latest update of Microsoft.

The room that we made over has such an important role in the shelter.

This is where women look for accommodation and employment opportunities. It’s where they wade through the mire of social services online and make all of their arrangements for their next step in life.

Domestic Violence is all about control. Long before the first punch is thrown, the perpetrator will likely arrest control of all family finances, medicare, health and social services. It’s what makes many women feel trapped.

And so it was so important for us to make this into a space where women felt comfortable to take those steps, to show them the sort of space that they deserve to live in and to feel valued - while their kids were happy playing in their new safe environment.

Of course we didn’t do this by ourselves – amazing help from Bunnings Warehouse and Freedom who deserve much of the credit.

See the full story here.