FULL CAMPAIGN COVERAGE: Annie North needs funds for refuge
THE Brougham Arms Hotel showed every little bit of fundraising counts at the weekend.
The hotel's social club raised more than $1000 for the Annie North Women's Refuge from its raffle at the weekend.
Funds raised will go to providing support and resources to women and children affected by family violence.
Annie North chairwoman Robyn Trainor said resources could be little things like day-today items.
"It could be supports like school work, toys or clothing," she said. "It can also be financial support. They will go to a whole range of different things.
Ms Trainor said it was important to keep the issue of family violence on the agenda.
The Annie North Women's Refuge is a high-security women's refuge in Bendigo that has properties for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
Ms Trainor said local support was important.
"It's important in terms of talking about the issue and what these women and children are experiencing," she said.
"We've seen significant increases in police reporting with more than 60,000 reports in the last 12-month period in Victoria.
"That shows this is (still) a significant issue."
Ms Trainor said, for some women, high-security refuge was their only option to stay safe.
The issue is currently in the limelight as Annie North lobbies for a cluster-model refuge that will provide more women with support.
"It is still a significant issue," Ms Trainor said.
"(The model) will provide local and regional women with opportunities to stay in their communities as a result of having to leave their homes to escape family violence.
"Hopefully that will help women to get back to their homes sooner or help in terms of police or other services such as Centre for Non-Violence to be able to provide assistance.
"(This model) has been on the agenda for several years.
"The government made a commitment to fund the model. Plans have been developed and land has been purchased."
Ms Trainor said the cluster model is unique and innovative because it provides opportunities for both single women and families to have support.
Planned support at the new cluster model includes education and school support and facilities designed to avoid women and children having to present in court.
"To be able to be interviewed off site means they don’t have to face a perpetrator and be re-traumatised," Ms Trainor said.
"Women feel very isolated as result of being disconnected from families and support networks in their own communities.
"Having other women around plays an important role in supporting impact of the violence, also make feel like they’re not alone.
"It can be an issue of shame and secrecy that we don’t necessarily talk about all the time."