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News & Events
From the Executive Officer
June 15, 2018
The last year for Emerge has seen more vulnerable women and children than ever access our services, with an increasing number having been living on the street, in tents and emergency accommodation before coming to our refuge.
We applaud women for taking this brave step: it is often more unsafe to leave than to remain in a violent home. They have no money, no family or friends to support them, and face a real risk of being found by their abuser. In fact, the women coming to our refuge come from all parts of Victoria-far away from the perpetrator and, sadly, any networks they may have had.
Emerge is a high security refuge service, with access to five crisis properties. We run one of the few outreach programs for women and children who have experienced family violence. Our children’s program – funded either through philanthropy or community donations – is viewed as a benchmark for family violence services. Indeed, two Emerge staff have been invited to Rome to speak about our infant therapy program.
Emerge was chosen by the Victorian Government to be among the few family violence refuges offering 24/7 support for women and children. The new Emerge Centre will be accessible for women and children with disabilities.
All of this is good news, even though the reasons for our existence are far from great.
While we can support women and children well through our refuge and crisis service, the reality is that finding homes for them once they leave is a growing concern.
The link between family violence and homelessness cannot be stressed enough. Data from the most recent Census shows that one in 56 Victorians received homelessness assistance, and that in 44% of cases, family violence was the reason. Thirteen per cent of requests for homelessness support involved children aged under 10.
Emerge is working on many fronts to address this issue, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you.