Elsie Refuge

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The Elsie Refuge for women and children was a women's refuge set up in Glebe, Sydney in 1974.[1] A group of feminist activists squatted a housing commission property in Glebe and set up the refuge in response to the lack of services & support available to women & children suffering from domestic violence. Initially, there was no support from governments, with the staff at the centre providing security with nothing more than a cricket bat. The Whitlam Government granted funding to the service in 1975. The refuge was the first of its kind, and served to inspire other women around the world to recreate the service model in their local areas.

Although crisis accommodation for women had been available for a long time, Elsie Refuge and its feminist counterparts were the first to run a service from a feminist perspective that focused on helping women escape domestic violence.[1]


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