The NSW Government says it is spending almost $500 million on 75 new domestic violence refuges. 

The state says that over the next four years it will double the number of places in refuges for women and children escaping domestic violence. 

New refuges are set to be built in areas of high demand, including in regional and rural parts of the state.

Every year more than 7,500 women across Australia return to violent partners because they have nowhere else to live. One woman is killed every nine days, on average, by a current or former partner.

Currently, half of all women seeking a refuge have to be turned away due to lack of space. Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, illustrating the high demand for these critical services.

Coming out of lockdown, experts expect that specialist services will be in even higher demand.

The new spending will come to a total of $484.3 million – the single biggest investment in tackling domestic and family violence in NSW’s history.

Of this, $426.6 million over four years will be spent to expand the state’s ‘Core and Cluster’ system to deliver and operate around 75 extra women’s refuges that support women and children escaping domestic violence. 

Under the Core and Cluster model, self-contained accommodation is located next to a ‘core’, which provides access to services including counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support. The sites contain meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.

Up to $52.5 million will be spent over four years on the Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) partnership, bringing in the community housing sector to provide approximately 200 sustainable, social and affordable housing dwellings for women experiencing domestic and family violence.

Also, $5.2 million over four years will go towards a trial in two districts to provide dedicated support for accompanied children and young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with a focus on children and young people impacted by domestic and family violence.

For confidential advice, support and referrals, contact: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), The NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63), NSW Rape Crisis (1800 424 017) or Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491). In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).