Safe Room Castle Towers
The Hills-based Lisa Harnum Foundation which established a “safe room” in Castle Towers is talking to other shopping centres about helping women at risk.
The simple concept which has been operating at the shopping centre at Castle Hill since June offers women dealing with domestic abuse a safe and discreet place to talk to a counsellor.
LHF Executive Director Aileen Mountifield said the Lisa Harnum Foundation was in negotiation with other Sydney shopping centres about adopting the “safe room” model.
“The Lisa Harnum Foundation understands how women find it difficult and even scary to seek support when in domestic abuse situations.
“Sometimes women are even tracked via their mobile phones or their cars. The safe room provides a safe and discreet service to eliminate those fears. Being in a shopping centre is a normal activity and will not raise any suspicion.”
Lisa Harnum Foundation ambassador, Kay Schubach who has written a book about her own experience of domestic abuse, said she hoped other shopping centres would also make a safe room available for women to meet a counsellor for help and advice if needed.
She said it was a service that could have helped her. “I was very confused and didn’t quite understand what was going on… I didn’t want to go to the police and didn’t know who to reach out to.”
Hills business woman Azita Adollahian said she was trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage when she arrived in Australia with two you children and no family and friends.
Castle Towers Centre Manager, Martin Ollis said: “We are so humbled at Castle Towers to be a part of the “Safe Room” initiative by the Lisa Harnum Foundation. On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
To find out more visit lisahf.org.au or call Aileen Mountifield on 0431 367 352. To make an appointment to see a counsellor at the safe room call 1300 732 848. In an emergency call 000. 24-hour emergency help call 1800 RESPECT or the Domestic Violence hotline 1800 65 64 63
The Foundation is named after Lisa Harnum who died in 2011 after she was thrown from the balcony of the CBD unit she shared with her fiancé, Simon Gittany, who is serving time for her murder.
Bring a mate and enjoy a great day of golf at the Sydney Hills Business Chamber's annual Bring A Mate challenge at The Riverside Oaks Golf Course on Friday November 17. Cost is $99 which includes a light breakfast, tea and coffee, carts,18 holes of Ambrose golf plus a presentation lunch. Registration is at 7.15am, shot gun start, after breakfast, at 8am. All funds raised will help the work of the Bring A Mate charity. For details call Kerrie on 0404 493 488 or visit www.bringamate.com
Author and Lisa Harnum Foundation ambassador Kay Schubach, LHF executive Director Aileen Mountifield and guest speaker Azita Adollahian