A SURVIVOR of domestic violence has called for more personalised support across NSW to ensure more women find a life beyond abuse.
The now-Wagga resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, spent months in search of a secure place to live after fleeing domestic violence with her son.
The woman said she was passed from shelter to shelter, treated harshly and felt like a statistic, until coming across a new program taking a personal approach to domestic violence support.
"Suddenly, I found someone based in Wagga who helped me not only find a nice home, but supported me with any problem I had, from filling out application forms as I can't read or write well, to letting me spend $2000 on making my new place feel like home and get back on my feet," she said.
"That kind of support is rare ... I feel so incredibly lucky to have it, but I hope to see it offered more so others can get the help they need."
Today marks the first day of the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence movement, with the Wagga Women's Health Centre holding their annual acknowledgement ceremony.
The centre's Claire Kendall said the ceremony sought to spark meaningful action.
"It's not enough to say that we went to the ceremony, it's about what we do from here," she said.
"This is such an important issue in Wagga and across the world, and it's time to start recognising that domestic violence spans beyond the physical; it's emotional, financial, spiritual and so much more."
Wagga is currently ranked 16th in the state for domestic violence, with a rate of 765.2 cases per 100,000 people compared with the state average of 396.7.
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After moving to Wagga in March, the victim-survivor said the NSW Department of Communities and Justice Rent Choice Start Safely program made the city a place she feels safe and secure in with the program giving tailored support for health and general wellbeing, education, employment and housing independence.
She said she felt that living regionally played a role in the personal approach to support she receives.
"None of the other places I spent time at were regional like Wagga, and yet this is where I've gotten the best support," she said.
Since beginning the program, she has been able to enroll in education courses, and resign her lease for another 12 months.
"I want everyone in a domestic violence situation to see what the help I've gotten has done for me ... I hope more people will reach out and encourage these services to take off," she said.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 656463) or Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491).