Starick House Refuge: Supporting women and children escape violence

Shelter WA member Starick has been working to support victims of domestic and family violence for more than 30 years - first as the Mary Smith Refuge, in Bentley, and later as Starick House Refuge in Gosnells. 

During those three decades, the organisation has broadened its range of services, along with its geographical spread.

Starick now provides services to women and children in Perth’s eastern metropolitan corridor from Perth’s CBD to the Hills area. 

“We are a lead domestic violence agency with responsibility for ensuring women and children, at very high risk of harm, receive a 24/7 service to maximise their safety,” Starick Chief Executive Officer Leanne Barron said.

“Our services include: crisis accommodation and support - through our two refuges; a supported transitional housing program in Gosnells, Maddington and Thornlie; a support and advocacy service for victims, based at the Cannington and Armadale police stations; a counselling program and a Safe at Home program, to support women and children so that they can stay safely in their own homes which prevents homelessness.” 

Along with providing a range of services, coordinating and liaising with other services in the corridor, Strarick provides additional programs that are designed to support women and their children to recover and rebuild their lives after they leave violent partners. 

During the last 12 months, Starick has directly helped 1,823 people as follows:

  • Accommodated 168 women and 239 children in its refuges;
  • Provided a crisis response service to 26 women and 24 children at very high risk of harm;
  • Its domestic violence advocates, outreach workers and counsellors provided services to more than 1,300 women and their children;
  • Since its inception, in January 2017, Starick’s Safe at Home program assisted 66 women and their children to stay in their homes after experiencing domestic and family violence.

The CEO explained why it was important for Starick to be a Shelter WA member.

“Housing is a critical issue for so many women fleeing domestic violence - in the immediate sense -because they may be forced to leave their homes, but also in the longer terms as a result of the financial abuse which has been part of the domestic violence and which can continue long after women have left the relationship,” Ms Barron said.

“We need housing polices and a housing system that can respond to these issues in a way that is sensitive to the needs of groups and individuals that are particularly vulnerable in the housing market.

“We also need a housing system that is just and fair and provides a good standard of living, security and a base from which individuals and families can thrive and build positive futures - that has community and societal benefits as well as benefits for those individuals and families.

“Those are the things Starick knows Shelter WA stands for.

“Being a member helps us to stay informed and to keep a focus on the big picture. 

“The analysis Shelter WA provides helps us to clarify what that big picture might look like and how we might get there.

 Starick’s 30 hardworking staff members are committed to helping women and children escape family and domestic violence. Half the organisation’s clients are either Aboriginal or from culturally and linguistically diverse women and children.

 On May, 12, Starick is hosting a fundraiser for Mothers’ Day. Proceeds will support women and children escaping family and domestic violence. Click here to find out more about the fundraiser.



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