Women’s Aid Organization Refuge Centre for Battered Women and their Children
The Refuge Centre for Battered Women and their Children was set up in 1982 by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).
WAO is an independent, non-religious, non-governmental organisation, committed to confronting violence against women. It is a member of the joint action group against violence against women and an affiliate member of the National Council of Women’s Organisations and of the Malaysians Aids Council.
YSD has given support of RM360,000 a year to WAO to supplement the refuge centre’s operating cost. At least 53% of those who have sought shelter at WAO’s Refuge Centre have managed to improve their lives. 30% of the centre’s former residents have managed to move on to live independently, while 23% left the centre to stay with their families and friends.Currently, The Refuge Centre for Battered Women and their Children provides shelter and protection to an everage of 100 women and 120 children every year. The refuge centre occupies a space of approximately 12,000 square feet, and has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a kitchen, an administration office and a store room.
Residents usually stay for one to three months, and during their stay, they participate in a variety of programmes organised and conducted by the centre. These include English language, computer and cooking classes, programmes to improve social skills and enhance awareness for better health as well as empowerment sessions aimed at enabling survivors of domestic violence regain control of their lives.
WAO’s seven dedicated staff also offer counseling sessions. Other activities for women and children, such as camps and ex-residents’ programmes are also available. Moreover, WAO runs a volunteer and internship scheme, where members of the public can contribute, for example by helping out at the centre through fund-raising or activities aimed at boosting public awareness.
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