Problems have continued to emerge since NSW handed a number of refuges over to faith-based organisations. Wendy Bacon and Elise Dalley report.
As more evidence emerges of crises in women’s refuges around NSW, campaigning group Save Our Women’s Services (SOS) has called for an independent inquiry.
“When the Premier Mike Baird became leader in April last year, he said one of his three key commitments was protecting the vulnerable. Unfortunately, the devastation of women’s services in NSW has failed to live up to that commitment,” SOS said.
After the LNP government announced its ‘Going Home Staying Home’ policy in 2012 women’s refuges, including those that had operated successfully for years, were required to tender for funds to deliver their services. The result was that many refuges were handed over from feminist or community control to faith-based organisations.
“Faith-based organisations do a lot of important work but women’s refuges were set up separately from church-based organisations more than 40 years ago to provide choice in the system, and gendered expertise,” SOS said.
The coalition of women and women’s services has released a set of five requests for the incoming Parliament to help improve on the ground services for women and children.
1. A Parliamentary Inquiry to be held into the impact of Going Home Staying Home on women and children.