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New Emerge refuge underway

August 6, 2018

A new Emerge refuge will be built following the exciting news that the organisation has been chosen by the Victorian Government to be among the few family violence refuges offering 24/7 support for women and children.

Plans for the new refuge have been drawn up by the award-winning architectural practice Harrison and White.

The new building will include state of the art one, two and three bedroom units with disability access. There will also be common areas, including a communal kitchen, living room as well as a support hub for women in outreach. The gardens will be properly landscaped together with a children’s playground, offering increased support and security for women and children.

Paula Westhead, Executive Officer for Emerge, said: “The new refuge is being carefully designed to provide personal and communal space to allow women and children to recover from the impact of family violence and homelessness.”

She said that the refuge will offer better accommodation and support for teenagers who are accompanied by their mother or female guardian.

“We are thrilled that the Victorian Government has recognised the support we offer to women and children who are highly vulnerable and traumatised. To be able to offer assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in our high-risk secure refuge is a major step forward,” she said.

“The fact that the new refuge will be disability friendly is welcomed due to the high number of women and children with a disability who experience family violence,” Paula said.

Emerge case workers will continue to provide women and their children with specialised support as well as practical assistance with legal, medical and financial matters to help women assess their next steps and feel free and safe to make choices.

The refuge will also be the base for Emerge’s children’s and infant’s program, which addresses the traumatic effect family violence has on a mother and her child, and helps children to process their experiences and express their feelings through art activities, play and therapeutic conversation.

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