Women?s refuge support crisis
MORE than 220 women and children who were victims of domestic violence were turned away from the Tweed's only refuge in the past financial year because it could not accommodate them.
The refuge, run by the Tweed Shire Women's Service, can only accommodate 194 women and children and had to refer the women and children to other related services throughout the shire for crisis support and counselling.
A spokesperson for the Women's Service said a range of organisations, such as the Family Centre, Community Health, Court Support Service and hospitals provided support for women and children in crisis, but none of those specialised in domestic violence.
Domestic violence in the Tweed, the spokesperson said, appeared to be a continuing problem, but increased awareness that it was not acceptable had meant more people were likely to seek support.
Staff and clients of the Womens Service in Murwillumbah were yesterday joined by Richmond MP Justine Elliott in promoting today's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day.
Ms Elliott urged residents to show their support for stamping out violence against women by wearing a white ribbon today.
Many of NSW's 15,000 police officers will wear a white ribbon today to show their support for the special United Nations-sanctioned day.
Ms Elliott, a former police officer, said that during her time with the Queensland Police she saw "so many women and children whose lives have been devastated by violence".
Ms Elliott said it was vital for women facing domestic violence to take that first important step - to seek help.
Community organisations throughout the Tweed such as the Family Centre and Women's Service will distribute white ribbons today with a message that the wearing of them is a personal pledge to not commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and children.
Statistics show that one in four women in NSW experience some form of violence such as domestic violence or sexual assault.