A safe room for victims of domestic abuse has been set up in a Sydney shopping centre to enable women at risk to discreetly access help and advice.
The safe area has been established by the Lisa Harnum Foundation at Castle Towers shopping centre, in Castle Hill in the city’s north west, as part of its outreach program to help distressed women access help and advice.
Lisa Harnum Foundation Caseworker Linda Lemon said that domestic abuse operated at many levels and for many women the abuse was about control.
“We need to be very aware that women can be followed if they are in a very controlling relationship,” she said.
“Their partner will want to know where they are going, why are they going there and who did they meet.
“Having a safe place in Castle Towers gives them the freedom and security to come and in talk about what they need to.
“This space is going to feel very safe for women. It’s better than meeting in a coffee shop.
“Every case is different but the first step is hard,” said Mrs Lemon.
Lisa Harnum Foundation founder Aileen Mountifield said it has always been Foundation’s aim to provide a “safe space” in a public place.
“(It) is discreet, safe and confidential,” she said.
“It is not a place that has signs on the door, nor windows to look in to. It is completely secluded and safe.”
This article was originally published by the Daily Telegraph.