The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter (ASWS) provides a 30 bed, high security crisis accommodation service for women and children under immediate threat of domestic violence.
There are staff members on site for 24 hours of the day and night, who are available to review and accept referrals and provide direct support to the residences.
The accommodation is situated in a discrete location in Alice Springs. It is a safe and secure space for women and children, with a number of security measures in place to ensure their safety and the safety of the staff. There are always at least two members of staff working at the accommodation.
Whilst being accommodated, women and children are provided with a range of services including case management, safety planning, counselling, emergency relief and referral to other services.
The primary focus of all the ASWS support is to maximise women and children’s safety. We do this by developing an individualised safety plan that is focussed on each person’s specific needs and circumstances.
Children who access ASWS with their mothers or carers, are treated as individual clients with their own specific safety plan- with a whole family approach.
An individual’s safety plan explores a variety of measures by which to ensure her safety. Ranging from obtaining a domestic violence order, identifying safe family members, relocating to a different house, town or community and even ensuring women have credit on their mobile phone.
As ASWS can only provide short term accommodation, the focus of the service is to provide a safe space and a period of respite before women decide what their next step will be.
Women are not only supported by the staff at ASWS but also by other residents who provide a supportive network for women to feel included and valued.
Due to the ongoing shortage of affordable housing in Alice Springs exit plans focus on immediate safety of women and children rather than securing long term accommodation.