Park sets bench mark

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Albany Soroptimist’s Janet McBride and Tina Queale. Jessica Cuthbert
Camera IconAlbany Soroptimist’s Janet McBride and Tina Queale. Jessica Cuthbert

A purple bench in Eyre Park honours the memory of lives lost to domestic and family violence.

The Purple Bench movement aims to raise awareness about the link between family violence and homelessness, as well as the support available to victims.

This week — Homelessness Week — the Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services WA invited women’s refuges across the State to share photos on social media of their local Purple Bench.

Soroptimist Albany’s Tina Quale said the purple bench movement sent a strong message.

“It’s about creating community awareness, so people can come and sit and contemplate on how many people are killed in domestic violence,” she said.

She said it was important to highlight the link between domestic violence and homelessness.

“Usually the women and children leave the home to get away from the violence. They might go to a shelter for a while but then they might not have anywhere to go,” she said.

“Also...having nowhere to go might be the reason they stay where they are in the violent situation.”

A report by University of WA researchers evaluated the impact of the Safe as Houses program.

According to the report, women who become homeless as a result of domestic violence also face legal and financial issues that make it harder for them to make a fresh start.

SASH has helped 133 women, all of whom were homeless or at high risk of homelessness.

Nearly two-thirds were caring for children.

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