Keeping women and children Safe at Home

McAuley Community Services for Women

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

McAuley is leading a project to further a response to family violence called ‘Safe at Home’. The default action has long been that the only way a victim survivor of violence can be safe is that they need to leave their home in order to be safe. Safe at Home would provide women with the choice to stay home safely and a whole of household response to family violence. This response would reduce homelessness and the long-term impacts that result from ‘escaping’ family violence. In Victoria, 56% of women presenting to homelessness services have experienced family violence.

Safe at Home would change the system from hiding women away towards greater perpetrator accountability, supporting women and children through their complex and unique trauma, and continue supporting them as they move towards a life free from violence. This response works alongside families to address the specific needs of each household member, integrating services to support women and children to remain connected to their communities, education and employment, establish ongoing financial and economic security, experience improved personal safety, and that people using violence are supported to address their needs and to stop the abuse.

Expected Outcomes

Victim-survivors will be aware of their ability to remain in their homes and how to access the support that is available for them to do so. We aim to see Safe at Home rolled out across Victoria, and replicable in other states and territories.
A Safe at Home response would provide an early intervention and rapid response – within 24 hours of referral – from an integrated team made up of specialists with expertise in family violence, mental health, perpetrator support, alcohol and drug support, police, cultural, employment and legal help.

We are currently working on a prototype, using the principles of co design and collective impact. Working alongside practitioners and people with lived experience, the prototype is drawing on a wealth of experience form across the sector to design a model that supports every member of the household and breaks the cycle of family violence and reduces long term impacts of trauma.

The outcome of this work is a fully scoped trial that is funded either via State or Federal Governments or if there is limited scope to influence budgets, funding will be sought from the philanthropic sector. A trial is essential to prove the model which can than be expanded or replicated to other jurisdictions.

Longer term, the outcome of a Safe at Home response is a real reduction in the number of women and children seeking support as a result of homelessness and a vast increase in the take up of programs, accommodation and support by people who use violence.

Project Data & Lessons

A Safe at Home response will see significant sector change, while providing considerable cost savings to government as well as a reduction in homelessness for women and children as a result of family violence.

Throughout the trial, outcomes will be monitored at individual, family group and system level and evaluate the extent to which a Safe at Home approach supports women and children to remain connected to their community, undisrupted education, financial and economic security, improved personal safety, people using violence are supported to stop and individuals and family groups have a positive experience of support.

We hope to see the Safe at Home model expanded across Victoria and replicated in other states and territories.

Project Dates

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Other Support Opportunities
Impact investment, Pro bono services

Organisation Details

McAuley Community Services for Women
ABN: 85696671223


Felicity Pringle
Phone: 0418105500

About McAuley Community Services for Women

McAuley Community Services for Women helps women and children who have faced family violence and homelessness to take control of their lives.

We support women and their children to be safe from family violence by providing 24/7 support, refuge, temporary and long-term accommodation.

The women and children we support have experienced, or are at immediate risk of, serious harm: through physical and emotional violence, threats, sexual assault, and stalking. We work alongside them to plan their move towards a life free from violence.

We also operate McAuley House, Footscray and Ballarat, providing accommodation for women who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, many of whom have also experienced family violence or mental illness. It is a place for rest, recovery and reconnection, as well as a welcoming community hub.

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