Canberra will have two new emergency shelter properties for women and children fleeing violence after renovations were completed.
Federal Women's Safety Minister Anne Ruston and ACT senator Zed Seselja will on Friday visit the Toora Women Inc properties, which will support an additional 60 women and children each year.
The not-for-profit shelter, which supports more than 700 people each year, was the beneficiary of a Safe Places Emergency Accommodation grant to renovate and install security features on the new properties.
The venues will be the first of a number of new venues designed for women and children with disabilities.
Susan Clarke-Lindfield, Toora's chief executive, said there were limited resources to meet the high demand for support services for women escaping violence.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to offer safe shelter to women and children," she said.
The opening of the new properties comes during National Homelessness Week. This year's theme is "Everybody needs a home".
Family and domestic violence remained the top reason for Toora's clients seeking shelter, Ms Clarke-Lindfield said, but many came with complex needs including mental illness, alcohol or drug dependence, a history of sexual abuse or having recently exited prison.
"That's why, as a specialist gendered service, we have a strong focus on trauma-informed care, dealing with the trauma that might have led to the homelessness," she said.
Senator Seselja said the new places would ensure women and children in the ACT had somewhere safe to sleep, but would also provide access to specialist family and domestic violence services to help create real and lasting change in their lives.
"It is vital women and children have somewhere safe to go when they make the brave decision to leave a violent situation," he said.
Ms Ruston congratulated Toora on the opening of its Safe Places Project and thanked its partners for contributing.
The ACT received $2 million as part of the government's $72.6 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program.
In total, 44 Safe Places projects Australia-wide will deliver about 780 new safe places, assisting about 6340 women and children experiencing family and domestic violence each year.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.
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