This week an online forum will look at the issue of safety for women and children in their own homes.
The Staying Home Safe forum to be held on Wednesday and Thursday online and will be hosted by Momentum Collective, a Northern Rivers’ community organisation aimed at creating real social change and inclusive opportunities.
The forum will bring together workers, researchers, experts and government representatives from the domestic and family violence sector in New South Wales.
Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin is part of the Collective and she will be opening the event.
‘I am appalled that In Australia, one woman is killed every nine days by someone who has promised to care, love and protect them,’ said Janelle.
‘Our community must do better to give that care and love and protection. This one woman could be our mother, sister, aunty, cousin, our family member.
‘I congratulate Momentum Collective for hosting this event as it brings our care workers and community together.
‘It will give us the opportunity to strengthen our support to do what we already know we must do to keep women and their children safe in our local community.’
Safety at home vital to ensure wellbeing
Sarah Dybing, Service Director of Community Programs at Momentum Collective said keeping women and children safe in their own home, or a home they choose, is vital to ensure their ongoing wellbeing.
‘We know that women and children escaping family violence often leave their homes and communities and experience added disadvantage as a result of the upheaval and disconnect from family, social and educational supports,’ said Ms Dybing.
‘The Staying Home Leaving Violence program in NSW provides women with support and resources to stay in their own home or a home of their choice and stay connected to community. It allows them to choose to build a safe and healthy life.’
DV one of the leading causes of homelessness in the Northern Rivers
Ms Dybing said domestic and family violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness in the Northern Rivers region, with increased risk during and after COVID-19.
‘The lack of affordable housing options across our region makes it even more difficult for women and children to escape domestic and family violence, and it’s vital that we find ways to keep women and children safe during and in the aftermath of COVID-19. The forum will focus on solutions and how we can all work together to best do this.’
The forum will focus on successful responses to keeping women & children safe at home, at work, at school, and in the community after leaving violent relationships.
During the forum, participants from the private, not for profit and government sectors will come together to share knowledge, approaches, and practical information about where to seek assistance to support people to stay safe.
Forum topics include safety planning for homes work or study, including with children, staying safe through tenancy law, finances, technology, police and courts, and culturally appropriate approaches.
Forum to provide best practice tools
The forum aims to strengthen the sector to provide best practice tools, and most importantly learn from each other. The sessions will benefit workers who support women and children experiencing domestic violence across the private, social, and community housing sector, domestic and family violence sector, education and employer providers, and all other key support workers.
Staying Home Safe good practice resources for women and sector workers will also be available on Momentum’s Website mymomentum.org.au/roof/staying-home-safe/ from the June 17 including home, children, work and education safety tips in both booklet and video form.
If you, or a person you know is experiencing or escaping domestic or family violence living in the Northern Rivers, please call Momentum Collective 24/7 on 1300 355 305, or the state wide NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 for counselling and referrals.