Katherine's Women's Legal Service has welcomed the NT Government's plan to build a DV crisis facility in Palmerston, but said crisis accommodation is also desperately needed in the Big Rivers region.
Territory Families and Urban Housing Minister Kate Worden on Thursday, to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, pledged $7.5 million over five years to go towards running a crisis accommodation centre in Palmerson.
The construction cost of $5.9 million will be covered by the Salvation Army and the Federal Government, with construction set to be finished in 2023.
The facility will offer both semi-independent crisis and longer term transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing violence, with space for up to 49 women and children at one time.
"As a Government we acknowledge and understand that fleeing your home can lead to homelessness and housing vulnerability," Ms Worden said.
"This is why we are funding a new crisis accommodation centre which provides a home and a safe place from which to move your life forward."
Katherine Women's Information and Legal Service chief executive Siobhan Mackay said while the facility was important for Palmerston, people experiencing family violence in the Big Rivers region were also in serious need of housing.
"We welcome the announcement of the establishment of a DV Crisis Facility in Palmerston, and the safety that it will provide for women and children victim/survivors of family and domestic violence," she said.
"We back calls for more crisis, transitional, and medium-term housing options in Katherine and the Big Rivers Region for women and their children who are leaving violent homes, and strongly support initiatives that support victim/survivors to remain in safety, in their own homes, and that users of violence are the ones to leave.
Ms Mackay said a major housing shortage in Katherine contributed to family violence in the community.
"The housing crisis in Katherine continues to grow, with sky-rocketing rent, competitiveness for rentals, and an overall lack of housing stock," she said.
"We are concerned that women and their children are staying in unsafe homes because they are unable to find alternative safe, affordable and available housing, or they leave home but can't find or afford another option and are then homeless.
"The lack of housing is a significant contributing factor to the cycle of violence, and women and children's safety."
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