A push for the major revamp of crisis accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence has won the backing of a Wagga campaigner.
SOS Women's Services, an advocacy group, wants NSW Government support for a new approach to accommodation, which would do away with communal refuges and provide more self-contained unit-style housing.
Griffith is one of four NSW centres identified by SOS as being suitable for a pilot scheme, which would see housing units built near existing refuge facilities.
The need for more emergency accommodation in Wagga has already been identified, and the provision of unit-style housing has long been a goal for Liberty from Violence.
Jenny Davis from the Wagga-based charity believes refuges fill an important role in helping women and children escape domestic violence, but she believes there is a need not just for more emergency accommodation, but places that offer longer-term housing.
Ms Davis said Liberty from Violence’s role was to sit behind existing services and support them.
She said the current model of providing emergency accommodation could be improved by the addition of new services, such as an expanded range of housing options.
“The current model doesn’t always rescue, nurture and provide for the future,” Ms Davis said.
“There are ways the current system could be changed to be more integrated. People need to be given a route that has a glow at the end.
“There are not always a lot of options for you if you have to turn your back and leave. There has to be more options. Women need a glimmer of hope offered to them.”
SOS is also pushing for Griffith to get its own women’s health centre.
SOS spokeswoman Roxanne McMurray said the demand for health services was expected to nearly double in the next 20 years.
“The Riverina has experienced an increase in domestic violence rates in the last few years, and the clinic would help take the pressure of the local refuge, which is experiencing high demand for assistance,” she said.
“Griffith also has high numbers of preventable hospital admissions and a very low number of female GPs which a women’s health centre would help to address, and we’re really pleased it’s received such strong community support.”