WOMEN’S refuges have been inundated with victims who’ve been bashed by partners high on ice, says industry veteran Anne Moore.
Ms Moore, CEO of the Lucy Saw Centre which recently took over Fremantle’s refuge from the local council, has worked in the sector for 27 years and says ice isn’t only lethal for male addicts, but also their partners.
“Often women have serious injuries because their partner has been on ice and totally lost it,” she says.
“When people are on ice they have no concept of fear, or the consequence of their actions.
“They are also highly unpredictable, so women can’t tell when their partner is about to explode or go off.”
Ms Moore added that some women admitted to refuges have also been addicted to the potent methamphetamine sweeping WA.
Fremantle’s Warrawee refuge can take up to five women and 15 children, with single women often sharing a room.
There’s an urgent waiting list to get in.
Ms Moore says more migrant females are also being admitted.
“Due to the nature of the 457 visa, culturally and linguistically diverse women are often reliant on their partner and if he loses his job their life can quickly fall apart,” she says.
“These women are ineligible for a whole host of services and support and often stay in abusive relationships because of that.
“In our refuge in Rockingham, it is completely full with CALD families.”
Fremantle federal Greens candidate Kate Davis managed WA’s Womens Law Centre for four years, often providing counsel to victims of domestic violence.
“One of the hardest things when I worked at the WLC was turning people away who needed help,” she says.
“Many of our clients were in serious danger, hospitalised with injuries, and the memory of our clients who were killed will stay with me forever.
“At the same time as promising funding to domestic violence services, the Turnbull government has cut critical homelessness funding which means cuts to the Safe at Home program run by the women’s refuge in our area.
Ms Davis says the Greens will commit $54 million per year on crisis phone services and women’s shelters in WA, and $5 billion nationally over 10 years, providing long-term, secure funding for domestic violence services.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK