Set up safe study room for domestic violence survivors and victims at WSU Liverpool campus
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This petition has been created by a group of students from Western Sydney University as part of a campaign to gain support for the setup of a safe study room for students who are domestic violence victims or survivors.
What will the room look like?
The room would be able to seat 20-30 students. It would have security cameras installed and one security guard nearby at all times in order for survivors and victims to feel safe at university and have a space where they can concentrate on their university work or seek help. The room would be equipped with 5 desktop computers for the convenience of students. In addition, the room would also be a place where the university counsellors can leave information on where further help can be sought.
Does a similar concept already exist elsewhere?
The Lisa Harnum Foundation at Castle Towers shopping centre has taken a similar action. This shopping centre in Castle Hill has set up a safe room for victims of domestic violence that is ‘discreet, safe and confidential’ (Jordan 2017). We propose that the safe room at WSU be in a similar style with no signs on the door and be located on a higher floor.
Why is this room needed?
It is no secret that domestic violence is an alarming social issue with grave impacts on individuals and society. Statistics have shown that women are three times more likely to experience domestic violence than men. On average, at least one woman dies a week at the hands of a partner or former partner and one in four women have been sexually or physically abused by an intimate partner and emotionally abused by a former or current partner (Our Watch 2017). The impacts of domestic violence include economic impacts, homicide, risk of homelessness, health impacts, higher rates of suicide attempts and impacts on children (Mitchell 2011).
The impact that the proposed safe room is aiming to alleviate is the economic impact of domestic violence. By setting up a room where survivors and victims of domestic violence can feel safe to study, we are potentially assisting them in continuing their studies and as a result increasing vocational choices, which enable them to become economically independent (Crawford et al. 2010).
Crawford, M, Brown, KA, Walsh, K & Pullar, D 2010, ‘From domestic violence to sustainable employment’, Forum of Public Policy, vol. 2, pp.1-12.
Jordan, B 2017, ‘Sydney’s castle towers shopping centre opens safe room for domestic violence victims’, The Daily Telegraph, 1 August, viewed 29 September 2017, <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/sydneys-castle-towers-shopping-centre-opens-safe-room-for-domestic-violence-victims/news-story/c73f6dedfcf6aca8d0258899f7c7ca53>
Mitchell, L 2011, Domestic violence in Australia-an overview of the issues, Parliament of Australia, viewed 29 September 2017, < http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2011-2012/DVAustralia#_ftn164>
Our Watch 2017, Facts and Figures, viewed 29 September 2017, < https://www.ourwatch.org.au/Understanding-Violence/Facts-and-figures>
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