Save Townsville Women's Centre - Vulnerable women and children deserve better
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The Townsville Women’s Centre is in crisis. The building which houses the vital domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness services is literally falling down. Townsville is the sexual assault capital of Queensland and the centre provides the only specialist sexual assault service in the region yet the condition of the building is appalling. It is rotting, flooding and rat infested. The floor is caving in and the stairs are collapsing. This is where women and children fleeing domestic violence run to. It should be a safe place. Instead, it is so dilapidated that it is at risk of closure.
Unless the State Government urgently commits funding to a new building, the Centre faces the very real risk of having to close its doors to women and children: victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and women in need. They are our sisters, our mothers, our daughters and our neighbours.
The men and women of Townsville have been touched by the incredible work the centre staff do to protect women and children. The community's support for the centre is evident in over $600,000 raised by the Sky Foundation - set up to fundraise on behalf of the centre. But the funds raised so far are not enough as the total cost to rebuild is $4.3 million and time is running out. Already women are turned away when it rains and the building floods. Soon, there may not be a Women's Centre for them to run to.
Around 10,000 women and children in need visit the decrepit building each year to access essential services for domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness. The government provides funding for the delivery of these programs but has so far turned a blind eye to the appalling conditions that the staff and clients endure. Hazard tape surrounds the rotting floor of the upstairs waiting area. Rats and pigeons have made the unsealed premises their home. Water gushes in under the roof and down the walls.
If you think vulnerable women and children deserve better, please sign our petition now to urge local member Minister Coralee O'Rourke and the State Government to work with us to end this disgraceful situation.
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