In this section:

Two new women’s refuges (including the first therapeutic refuge model in WA)

Responsible government

  • Western Australia

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 19 Build the evidence base to inform responses to domestic, family and sexual violence by strengthening the focus on what works to reduce violence, improving data and supporting the Fourth Action Plan priorities.
    • 20 Improve access to suitable and safe accommodation within their communities for women who have experienced domestic, family and sexual violence.

What are we doing?

The Western Australian Government’s Path to Safety: Western Australia’s strategy to reduce family and domestic violence 2020-2030 includes a priority action to ensure victims have immediate, early and ongoing access to safety and are supported to recover. There is commitment to grow the capacity of response service to deliver services that are person centred, risk and trauma informed and accessible.

The Government has invested in two new women’s refuges, one located in outer metropolitan Perth and the other in the Peel region of Western Australia. These refuges will increase the state’s accommodation capacity and support existing family and domestic violence refuges in addressing the continuing need for safe crisis accommodation for women and their children across the State.

What have we achieved so far?

A comprehensive stakeholder engagement and co-design process was undertaken from late 2019 to March 2020 to develop the therapeutic service model. Stakeholders included peak bodies, community services sector providers, government representatives, and importantly, those with lived experience of family and domestic violence. Findings from the co-design processes are available here.

The two new women’s refuges in Kwinana and the Peel region were officially opened by the Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Hon Simone McGurk MLA in December 2020 and are now fully operational and at capacity.

Warlang Bidi – Supporting Women and Children
The Peel refuge ‘Warlang Bidi – Supporting Women and Children’ is an innovation for Western Australia. It is Western Australia’s first therapeutic women’s refuge and is tailored to provide specialist, person-centred responses for women escaping family and domestic violence, presenting with or without children, who also have mental health concerns and/or harm from alcohol and other drugs. OVIS Community Services is operating Warlang Bidi in partnership with Peel-based Allambee Counselling Service, specialising in counselling and group therapies for children, adolescents and adults impacted by domestic, family and sexual violence.

Andrea Mia
The Lucy Saw Centre Association is operating the new women’s refuge in Kwinana ‘Andrea Mia’. The purpose-built facility is designed to offer greater flexibility to meet the needs of women with disability, older women, women from Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and women with larger families, including older boys. The facility includes independent units with bedroom arrangements that can be expanded or contracted to provide accommodation options for groups identified as needing a different model of assistance, such as a woman with a disability and her carer, a woman seeking to be reunified with her children or larger families. The refuge has increased the State’s accommodation capacity and is supporting existing services in addressing demand for safe crisis accommodation.

The Western Australian Government invested an additional $4 million into both refuges as part of WA’s Recovery Plan, the state’s response to addressing the impacts of COVID-19. This will double the accommodation capacity of each refuge. A further $3.35 million has also been provided by the Western Australian Government to meet the operational needs of the refuges due to the increased accommodation capacity.

What is next?

Expansion works are expected to be completed in the second half of 2021. These additional units are expected to be operational in December 2021.

What difference will we make?

The new refuges are expected to support a range of safety, health and wellbeing outcomes for women accessing these services. It is anticipated that the refuges will be a welcome addition to their local communities and work alongside other community partners to promote safety for women and their children.

Last updated