Big win for the Peel region as new women's refuge announced

Mandurah Mail stories highlighting the need for a second refuge in the Peel region.
Mandurah Mail stories highlighting the need for a second refuge in the Peel region.

The Mandurah Mail's campaign calling for a new Peel domestic violence refuge has been heard, with the state government announcing a second facility is set to open in 2021.

The Mail launched a campaign highlighting the prevalence of domestic violence in the region and the need for a second refuge in September 2018, after learning Peel's only crisis facility had turned away 140 victims in a six-month period.

Pat Thomas House refuge chief executive Jill Robinson said they had been promised a new refuge by the state government in 2017, but nothing had eventuated.

The Mail highlighted the serious Mandurah issue by interviewing domestic violence survivors, gathering court statistics, interviewing police and putting pressure on politicians.

Read the Mail's coverage:

The second refuge will provide tailored support services to domestic violence survivors and women fleeing abusive relationships.

In a WA first, the refuge boasts a specialist multi-disciplinary team with mental health professionals, domestic violence support workers, alcohol and drug counsellors, and nurses.

There will be trauma support available for children and families.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence minister Simone McGurk said she was pleased to announce the refuge.

"The therapeutic refuge model will be a significant shift from current practice and recognises that family and domestic violence has serious and often ongoing impacts on women's health and wellbeing," she said.

"This therapeutically focused model is about supporting women and their children escaping family and domestic violence with specialist services because leaving the violence is only one part of a survivor's recovery."

Mandurah MP David Templeman said family and domestic violence had always been a "major issue" for the region.

"The new refuge will complement the outstanding work a number of local agencies are doing to alleviate this issue in our community," he said.

If you need help with domestic violence, contact 1800 RESPECT at 1800 737 732 or phone the crisis care family helpline on 08 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008.

In an emergency, phone 000.