Domestic violence cases on-the-rise for The Women's Cottage Richmond

The Women's Cottage on Bosworth Street in Richmond has had a busy year.

The service, run by the Hawkesbury Area Womens and Kids Services Collective, provided support for twice as many women (representing 75 per cent of all clients) than it did during the previous financial year.

Community focused: Women's Cottage manager Maria Losurdo, crisis workers Kim Ward and Jess Reed, and finance administrator Meg Keith. Picture: Sarah Falson

Community focused: Women's Cottage manager Maria Losurdo, crisis workers Kim Ward and Jess Reed, and finance administrator Meg Keith. Picture: Sarah Falson

It provided over 440 food hampers and personal care kits to community members, over 90 Christmas food hampers and kids presents for the festive season, and over 120 cases of emergency financial assistance (including food, petrol, school needs, emergency accommodation and other crisis support costs).

According to its Annual Report 2018-2019, 52 per cent of the women the cottage helped had children with kids under 12 years old, 35 per cent of clients were living with disability, 13 per cent of clients identified as Aboriginal and 7 per cent were culturally diverse.

The Women's Cottage took on a new manager during the year, Maria Losurdo, who said the centre had "just been getting busier and busier".

"Part of that is because we began running extra groups," Ms Losurdo said.

"But the number of women we're seeing is increasing and the complexity of the issues is increasing. We're seeing women right in the midst of the violence."

Groups including carers support, guided mediation, journal writing and reclaiming life after domestic violence provided soft entry points for women into other support services.

Crisis worker Kim Ward said Christmas is "a big time for domestic violence".

Donate to The Women's Cottage at www.womenscottage.org.au.

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