A new refuge for women seeking domestic violence support is expected to be operational in Port Macquarie by mid 2023.
The accommodation site, which will be located close to public transport and support services, is one of 39 new domestic violence refuges across the state as part of the NSW Government's Core and Cluster program.
Liberty Domestic Violence & Support Services will operate the refuge. CEO Kelly Lamb said this is a "huge step forward for Liberty".
"We've been in this community for 42 years and this is the most significant expansion that we've experienced in that time," she said.
The facility will include between eight and 10 fully self-contained two-bedroom units. There will also be common areas for social interaction and play space for children.
"This opportunity to step into a core and cluster model is going to really support women who need that independent living space to rebuild their lives," Ms Lamb said.
"This additional accommodation is much-needed in our growing community, with more than 1200 women and children seeking support from Liberty last financial year."
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the refuge will scale up vital support for women and children in the Hastings.
"One of the unique things about Port Macquarie is that when we see there is a need, and there is a need here for more independent living space for women in domestic violence situations, we come together to make it happen," she said.
"This is an incredible milestone and it is initiatives like this that will literally save lives.
"I don't want a single person in the Port Macquarie electorate to be harmed by domestic and family violence, but until we can remove this scourge from our society, it is crucial we have support in place for victims."
Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said services will work together to provide support in the new refuge.
"Core and cluster is an innovative model of refuge provision where there are services and a cluster of independent living arrangements so women and their children can find safe refuge and recover in the sanctuary of their own space," she said.
Services available to women at the refuge will include Mid North Coast Police, counselling as well as legal and financial services.
The NSW Government announced $484.3 million in October 2021 to establish the new women's refuges across the state.
Ms Lamb said the centre is expected to be operational mid next year.
"Support services will be able to come into this space and provide help to women and children fleeing domestic violence situations," she said.
"It will be in a location that is accessible for women and children and close to public transport."
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