Support for safe house
A groundswell of support for a Women’s Refuge at Balclutha has prompted the Gore-based organisation to actively seek funding for a safe house.
In the face of rising domestic violence statistics – 52 per cent of arrests/incidents originate from domestic violence in the Clutha District, Gore Women’s Refuge opened a branch office at Balclutha in July, and appointed south Otago advocate Kerri Oliver to staff it. However, since then there had been a groundswell of support for Balclutha to have more expanded services, Gore Women’s Refuge board member and spokesperson Colleen Te Au, said.
‘‘The staff and board members of Gore Women’s Refuge are working diligently towards addressing the needs in the Balclutha area. If opening a safe house in the town is the safest viable option we will certainly be exploring all options.’’
Gore Women’s Refuge supporter and board member Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan said he had anecdotal evidence of how difficult it was for some Clutha women to make the trip an hour away to Gore.
‘‘I am 100 per cent supportive of Gore Women’s Refuge and hope to strengthen the overall group by expanding Clutha’s capacity to respond.’’
Gore Women’s Refuge was allocated limited funds to provide services in Balclutha, Te Au said. However, if the community needed it, they would make it happen, she said.
Kerri Oliver and Clutha mayor Bryan Cadogan.