Vinnies call for vital help in supporting DV victims
WARWICK’S St Vincent de Paul op shops and Family Support Centre have acted as the first port of call for domestic violence survivors, providing them with a temporary safe space and urgently need supplies before connecting them with bigger networks within the region.
Warwick representative of the St Vincent de Paul Conference Margaret Lawton said many domestic violence victims fleeing Warwick needed the “basic necessities” of survival before escaping the small community.
“We would give (victims) whatever they needed straight away, because if someone is fleeing domestic violence, they usually have nothing except what they’re standing in,” Mrs Lawton said.
“Quite often they’ll need clothing, maybe even a phone, toiletries, or perhaps overnight accommodation until they can be moved to somewhere safer.
“So, we keep them in a safe place and help them with short-term needs, but we don’t have any long-term refuges in Warwick.”
Mrs Lawton added that while the immediate area was too small for a permanent refuge for those fleeing domestic violence, Vinnies also worked closely with housing and other organisations to ensure victims’ safety.
“We would normally say that it’s a bit hard to find a safe place in Warwick because it is quite a small community,” she said.
“We work in with Cornerstone too, which is our housing and homing office.
“So, if they have a domestic violence case they would probably call on a Vinnies member to come help with that, we work together with those sort of things.”
Mrs Lawton said charities like Vinnies relied on item and cash donations from the community to continue their good work.
“Warm clothing and warm bedding are the kind of things we would certainly be looking for at this time of year,” she said.
“It’s always good to have the goods, and it’s great to have monetary donations that we can actually channel into the needs of people who come to us.
“If we didn’t have the support of the community, we certainly wouldn’t be able to do what we do for those in need of assistance.”
Vinnies is currently running their annual Winter Appeal, aimed at providing emergency relief for at-risk and homeless members of the community.
For more information or to donate, go to their website.