The Northern Beaches is renowned for its natural beauty and laid-back culture. It’s the reason we all love living here. But beneath this idyllic facade, there exists a desperate issue: the housing crisis and its impact on women and children escaping domestic violence and abuse.
Australia, like many other countries, is grappling with the housing crisis. Rising property prices and a scarcity of affordable rental housing have created significant challenges, leaving vulnerable groups at risk of homelessness. This crisis is particularly acute for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence. Securing safe and affordable accommodation can be incredibly challenging, forcing women to either remain in dangerous situations or be displaced from their support networks.
Recognising the importance of keeping families within their communities, local charity Women & Children First is creating Pop-Up Safe Houses across the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore of Sydney. As extensions of their refuges (which are currently at capacity), these safe houses provide a critical bridge to safety and support.
Studies have shown that support from the community plays a vital role in an individual’s healing process and helps foster a sense of belonging and improved wellbeing. By enabling families to stay in their communities, close to family, friends and networks, Women & Children First is providing a stronger foundation for recovery and the rebuilding of lives.
In addition to housing, financial support is often critical. This is because many women who flee abusive households have endured financial abuse; whereby their abuser has withheld money, controlled spending, or excluded them from bank accounts. If and when a woman finds the courage to leave, she often faces a complete lack of financial stability and resources.
Because the Pop-Up Safe Houses serve as an extension of Women & Children First’s refugees, they are also able to offer families a range of wraparound services, including counselling, case management, referrals to legal advice and financial support.
For Women & Children First to create Pop-Up Safe Houses and provide their wraparound services, they require significant funding. That’s why they are asking the Northern Beaches community to donate the funds needed to create safe and secure homes for women and children in crisis. Funds raised will cover the cost of rent, utilities, furniture, household essentials, groceries, phone credit for safe phones and school uniforms.
Domestic violence and abuse know no boundaries and are just as prevalent in the Northern Beaches as in other parts of Sydney. It’s critical that we, as a community, foster a culture of empathy, and understanding, and lead the charge of zero tolerance for domestic and family violence. Supporting a charity like Women & Children First is one way we can do just that.
To donate and help raise the funds needed to create Pop-Up Safe Houses click here.