Safe Room Cas­tle Tow­ers

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News - By Bev Jor­dan

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 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.bringa­

Au­thor and Lisa Har­num Foun­da­tion am­bas­sador Kay Schubach, LHF ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Aileen Moun­ti­field and guest speaker Azita Adol­lahian

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