Community GroupsDomestic ViolenceNews

From crisis to a safe home

On May 2 the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre (142 Addison Road, Marrickville) announced it would be helping survivors of domestic violence and abuse to transition from crisis to a safe home.

The Bower - helping survivors of domestic abuse and violence. Photo: Andrew Collis

The Bower – helping survivors of domestic abuse and violence. Photo: Andrew Collis

The Bower has both an environmental and a social mission – to divert “waste” from landfill, by encouraging restoration, repair and reuse (“upcycled style!”) and supporting those in need to access quality household items, as well as practical knowledge and skills.

In partnership with domestic violence support services including Bonnie, the Women & Girls Emergency Centre (WAGEC), Parramatta Mission and Mary’s House, the Bower aims to provide furniture, whitegoods and household items to women and children who have had to leave terrifying situations.

The initial fundraising aim was to reach $15,000. Upon writing this article and looking at the website where donations are collected, however, I’m happy to report that $17,158 has already been pledged. The Bower does have a higher or “stretch” goal, which is set at $22,000.

Donations will be used to fund programs for survivors to learn new skills. A free drop-in community Repair Cafe and a newly established Women’s Shed will help vulnerable individuals learn basic skills in carpentry, furniture restoration and “upcycling”, enabling them to furnish their new home, gain a positive creative and social outlet, greater independence, well-being, self-confidence and empowerment.

How will it work? The Bower will give out “House to Home” vouchers worth $600 each. Voucher recipients will then go to the Bower where they will be able to select what they need and like.

The Bower furnishing homes for women escaping domestic abuse. Photo: Andrew Collis

The Bower furnishing homes for women escaping domestic abuse. Photo: Andrew Collis

Here is a sensible list of items needed to outfit a home. In the bedroom: one bed, one bedside table, bedroom drawers, wardrobe and a dresser with a mirror.

For the kitchen: three small electrical products (for example, a toaster, a kettle and a table lamp), as well as pots and pans, cutlery and crockery.

For the lounge and dining rooms: one table and four chairs, a sofa with two extra chairs if people have a family, a coffee table along with some shelves, a TV unit and an audio unit.

“Affordable, accessible and liveable housing is essential for families escaping violence, particularly women and children. Its provision is a necessary component of a universal response to supporting families and in ensuring child safety.” The Hon. James Wood AO QC (“Final Report – Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection”).

Let’s help and make this happen. Visit the website.

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