- Join Got Your Back Sista and stand up to domestic violence at the Newcastle Knights versus Canterbury Bulldogs NRL game on July 12. Register at https://www.mycause.com.au/events/2019gybsknights
JENNY'S Place Domestic Violence Resource Centre may be forced to close if it cannot raise sufficient funds by September to continue operating as a free "one stop shop" for women facing abuse.
Corporate partnerships specialist Saibre Johnstone said the resource centre didn't receive government funding and had survived for more than a decade on community donations, before Port Waratah Coal Services stepped in to provide two years of funding that will run out in three months time.
"We need at least $500,000, or ideally one million, to plan for three years," Ms Johnstone said.
"If we don't hit that target we will need to open for fewer hours and fewer days and perhaps close.
"We don't want to throw our hands up and say we can't do it.
"We want to continue to meet growing demand and provide a quality, specialist service.
"We're a safe, one-stop shop for domestic violence support and we're specialists in this field.
"They're the only cases we see. We should be giving women support to access help.
"There's lots of barriers to them and the existence of our service should not be one of them.
"We're the only one of our kind in Newcastle and there's no other service to pick up the work we're doing here."
Jenny's Place has operated for 42 years and receives state government Specialist Homelessness Services funding to run two refuges and for its outreach program, which includes helping the women living in its 15 transitional properties and 10 boarding house properties.
Team leader Rosemary Pillay said it realised 12 years ago there was a "gap" in what it was providing.
"Not everyone needs a refuge," she said.
"Others need information, referral to other services and advocacy."
Ms Johnstone said the resource centre's two part-time staff members see about 60 women each month, including about 20 women who are new to the service.
"We're led by what they need and the goals they have set for themselves," Ms Johnstone said.
"We can provide domestic violence education and information; safety planning - how to maximise being safe and, if they become at risk, how they're going to keep them and their kids safe; exit planning to support women who plan to leave; court support; help making police reports; legal advice; funding assistance they can access and long term counselling.
"A lot of what we do is prevention before it gets to the police, courts or hospital - before it gets to crisis point.
"But it's also about helping once women move out of crisis mode and realise what impact this has made on their life.
"It's about supporting them in an ongoing sense so they can recover and not end up back in the cycle."
The centre also fields calls from other services, schools, family members and friends and runs on-demand community awareness programs.
To donate: givenow.com.au/jennysplace
Got Your Back Sista will shine a spotlight on domestic violence at the July 12 Newcastle Knights versus Canterbury Bulldogs game. Those who register and make a donation will receive a shirt and reserved seat ticket in the GYBS supporters' bay. They will be asked to hold 'Say No' banners up at halftime when Knights legend and nib ambassador Paul The Chief Harragon, White Ribbon Ambassador Clint Newton and Got Your Back Sista CEO, Melissa Histon-Browning ask what the community should say to domestic violence'. Details: mycause.com.au/events/2019gybsknights.
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