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Healing through design

Healing through design

The Ruah Centre for Women and Children will provide an environment where women escaping violence will feel safe and welcome, and where they can access the support they need to build a new future for themselves and their children.

Family, culture and communication will be at the heart of the design creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere that promotes the wellbeing of everyone who uses the building.

The trauma-informed approach is world leading and underpins the delivery of holistic, integrated services designed to hasten healing and recovery.

Trauma-informed approach

Perth has a history of re-purposing and retrofitting buildings to ‘do the best we can’ for the most vulnerable people in our community. These places are often less than ideal for everyone and often inappropriate for Aboriginal people in particular, who are so overly represented when it comes to family and domestic violence.

Ruah’s new Centre for Women and Children takes a completely different approach, putting the people who will come there to rebuild and create a new future at the very heart of its design, development and operations.

Trauma-informed design recognises that the physical environment has a significant impact on our moods, sense of identity and wellbeing, and that carefully crafted spaces can be used to promote empowerment.

It involves integrating the principles of trauma-informed care into every aspect of the physical design of spaces to foster a sense of calmness, safety, well-being and healing.

Purpose-built facility

The new seven-storey centre will replace Ruah’s old building with an elegant, contemporary structure that will lift the aesthetics and blend beautifully with its surroundings.

The site is opposite a park and close to public transport, schools, shops and all the facilities families escaping domestic violence might need while they are living at the new Centre. It is also close to Ruah’s network of schools that are equipped to support women and children needing to relocate quickly and safely.

As well as advanced therapy facilities this will be the head office for our Executive and staff. The top floors will offer short-term respite accommodation where families in crisis can pause, be safe and take the first steps on the road to recovery.  The therapeutic approach will be leading-edge.

The Centre will also provide access to a coordinated continuum of supports such as health services, legal support and representation, help finding employment, and life skills education.

Ruah already has a strong track record of collaboration, innovation and best practice and the Centre will become a professional hub – a place of collaborative research and insight into complex and inter-related social issues. This will help build the body of knowledge available to the community services sector and enhance the support it provides to vulnerable women

Stay in touch with the project and see how the work is progressing.

A voice for survivors

After surviving years in an abusive relationship, Azelene was determined to set a very different example for her teenage daughter. She shares her experiences to support other women as a Ruah Voices for Change advocate.

Read more

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