The Rotary Club of Gosford City has had a proud association with Coast Shelter for many years. We acknowledge the exceptional work done by the Board, Management, Staff, volunteers and supporters of Coast Shelter to protect, feed and house many of the most vulnerable people on the Coast.
An important and sadly growing need in our region is the awareness, education & prevention initiatives that can reduce the incidence of domestic violence on the Central Coast. Coast Shelter has a substantial program in place to address these needs.
The majority of women and children entering the Coast Shelter service are the victims of domestic violence, and even with the addition of a further nineteen safe residential properties, Coast Shelter has still been unable to meet the accommodation needs of all victims of domestic violence who have been referred to them.
Coast Shelter has identified the need to advocate for the victims of domestic violence and has established an early intervention program, along with an educational program within our schools on the Central Coast. In partnership with Central Coast Medicare Local, Coast Shelter has appointed dedicated staff who have the advocacy responsibility with real estate agents, housing associations and the public housing authority to assist women and children to maintain their tenancies, as well as working cooperatively with the ‘Love Bites’ educational program.
At a recent visit to a Central Coast high school, staff found that many of the young women in year 8 had a very limited understanding of what domestic violence is, and the various forms in which it might be experienced. Although they understood that physical violence was not acceptable, they had no recognition that all other forms of domestic violence including psychological, social, economic and even spiritual pressure were all unacceptable behaviours in any relationship.
Coast Shelter supports the need for education of all men and women about respect for one another with particular reference to domestic or family violence is extremely important and acknowledges this as an effective early intervention strategy.
The majority of funds raised from the ‘Toast the Coast’ event will be applied to the awareness, education and prevention of domestic violence on the Central Coast, with Coast Shelter being the primary recipient.
Chief Executive Officer