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Bella’s Sanctuary wins Safer Suburbs Award

Bella’s Sanctuary, the Gold Coast’s first purpose-built bridging accommodation for domestic and family violence survivors, has been recognised in the Gold Coast City Council’s Safest Suburbs Awards with Halcyon winning the business category.

The biennial awards recognise outstanding safety initiatives happening on the Gold Coast and the businesses and individuals who are working to make our city safer.

The $1.67 million safe haven, which opened in September 2019 is based at an unpublicised address and provides support for women and children leaving domestic and family violence situations.

The facility is the result of a collaboration between the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Spearheaded by Queensland developer Halcyonwho collaborated with DVConnect and listed property group Mirvac – who designed, built, funded and then donated the purpose-built home.

DVConnect Chief Executive Officer Rebecca O’Connor said since Bella’s Sanctuary opened in September, the purpose-built accommodation is already making a significant difference for survivors.

“Bella’s Sanctuary has enabled the women and children who live within in it time to reset in a safe and supportive environment.

What makes this accommodation residence different, and a first of its kind in Australia, is the fact that women and children can stay for up to 12 months, get back on their feet, find employment, let kids settle into school and re-build their lives, while receiving counselling for the trauma they have experienced.” Ms O’Connor said.

The bridging accommodation comprises of two one-bedroom, including one designed for the disabled, two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom units each with their own kitchenette, living area and courtyard. It also has a communal kitchen and living room, a play area and a DVConnect support office.

Halcyon project director Marie Cone said Bella’s Sanctuary is an example of how the development and building industry can make a difference and play an important role in making our community safer.

“We encourage local businesses to get behind critical, not-for-profit infrastructure benefitting the most at-risk people living in our communities, and helping facilitate a conversation around domestic violence,” Mrs Cone said.

“At Halcyon, we believe creating safer communities is everyone’s responsibility and we’re very humbled to be recognised in the Gold Coast City Council’s Safer Suburbs Awards.”

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. 1 in 6 Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. 1 in 4 Australian women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.

 

About DVConnect

DVConnect helps Queenslanders escape domestic and family violence by providing emergency transport and accommodation. If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, visit dvconnect.org or call:

DVConnect Womensline 1800 811 811, anytime 24/7.

DVConnect Mensline 1800 600 636, between 9am – midnight.

Sexual Assault Helpline, 1800 010 120, between 7.30am – 11.30pm.

 

 

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Thank you for your help, for everything you have done for me over the last few days. Your services are more than impressive and impeccable for anyone who may be in danger or in need of help of any kind. I may not be here today without your protection and the services you provided me. It is amazing to know there are people out there that give their absolute best to keep others safe, because they can and they care. Before making the call to you I felt too ashamed and far too proud to ask anyone for help. But now I feel strong knowing that I had the courage to put my hand up and ask for help. It saved my life! 

Sarah, Gold Coast

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  • Provide more emergency transport and accommodation to those escaping violence.
  • Provide more safety planning, crisis counselling & information to those escaping violence.
  • Educate Queenslanders on how to help family/friends/colleagues experiencing violence.