The shocking truth: Domestic Violence in Orange

By Taneil Thornberry


Violence is more likely to kill a woman than smoking or obesity and is one of the highest ranking causes of preventable death among women aged 15-44 in Australia. One woman a week is being killed by her partner or former partner in Australia on average.

The need for women-only refuges has been recognised for decades, with Australia’s first ever refuge for women and children, Elsies in Inner West Sydney, being operational for over 40 years. The need for these shelters is now greater than ever.

With rates of domestic violence being so high, is is essential to provide more support for those suffering and in need.

The NSW state government has budgeted $300 million to help reduce domestic violence across the state and care for those suffering as a result of it. This funding will partly go towards fitting offenders with a tracking device; offering more advice and care; and supporting programs such as Stop it at the Start to educate children and young people about domestic violence.

However, regional centres such as Orange in the Central West fear they will going to miss out, with no specific funding for a women’s only domestic violence refuge.

By Taneil Thornberry, Lauren Irvine, April Stons

Orange has some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the state and still has no women’s only refuge, with the closest being a 45minute drive to Bathurst.

Orange resident Gerard Eppelstun is concerned with the lack of a womens only refuge.

This is a major issue as women don’t feel safe, leading them to either not report or leave and have no where to go. Potentially leading them to become homeless with already 27% of homelessness in Orange due to domestic violence according to a local refuge Housing Plus.

With organisations such as Housing Plus located in both Orange and Bathurst already providing a number of services including support for women and children suffering from violence, their Orange services don’t include a women’s only refuge.

In an interview with NSW Greens MP Dr. Mehreen Farruqi states some of the confronting facts about domestic violence and the need for women only refuges.

By Taneil Thornberry, Lauren Irvine, April Stons
It’s hard to imagine in Australia today that there is a need for refuges but it is a very real issue that must be addressed to ensure the safety of our communities.

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