Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes!
  • Louisa has both short term (refuge) and transitional accommodation. You can stay at the refuge up to about three months whilst working together with staff on your future plans. The transitional accommodation is 12-18 months. The refuge is a shared facility and is for women, and women with children. The transitional accommodation is open to all people escaping domestic and family violence, however there is a very limited supply.
  • We know how important your pets are; in fact many people do not leave a dangerous situation because they are worried about their pets’ safety. We do not have capacity for pets in the refuge because it is a shared living place, however we will try and help you make arrangements for your pets. Pre-loved pets may be approved for the transitional accommodation.
  • Finding exit housing is just one of the things that workers will help you to do during your stay. Generally most people can find somewhere, but if it is taking longer and there are unusual circumstances, we will consider this.
  • Yourself and your children! After that most important is your mobile phone, personal paperwork, such as passport, bank cards, ID, court documents etc and, precious photographs. If you can bring suitable clothes for yourself and the kids, as well as any special items that will make the kids feel at home. Don’t forget their school bags and uniforms.
  • Your safety is most the most important thing. We will help you figure out options for getting your stuff. This might involve going to court and getting an Order, which means that you can then collect your belongings in the presence of police.
  • Yes! Our short term accommodation facility is fully disabled accessible.
  • People just like you. People that have had a difficult time because they have been living with abuse, have been stressed and anxious for a long time. It’s amazing what a period of real security and support can do to help lift some of that stress. If you come to the refuge, where you will share with others, rest assured that we also have practical rules and systems in place to make things work smoothly. Many women find new friends during their stay.
  • Definitely not! If you are in our transitional accommodation, you and your family will be the sole occupants. If you are in the refuge you will have your own private and secure bedroom. You might be surprised to know that the refuge was purpose-built for us, and is a very large house with several bathrooms, large living areas and play areas for the children. The most common comment from those coming to it for the first time is “Oh, it’s so much nicer here than I thought it would be”
  • Children love the safety and company at Louisa, and receive lots of support just for them. Children are deeply affected by exposure to abuse, and they also worry about their parents. Sometimes they have developed behaviours that concern their parents, such as hitting and swearing. Being in a safe place where their needs are met is like pouring water on a garden and watching it flower.
  • We do not have the capacity to store furniture, but will try and help you work out other options.
  • Louisa has rules to protect everyone’s safety. At the refuge it is generally best if you organise to have visitors elsewhere, although you can have personal visitors if they are female and you organise this with a worker beforehand. In the transitional accommodation you may have visitors but we advise that people consider carefully who comes to visit, as it may impact their safety.
  • Yes, provided you check in with us first. This is for two reasons; firstly so that we know you are safe, and secondly because there is a high demand for emergency accommodation and if you have a place to stay, then we could give the room to someone else in need.
  • No, but we can help you organise a school bus, and there are also excellent primary schools in Queanbeyan very close by which they can attend temporarily, as it is very important that the children continue to attend school.
  • Yes. You will be expected to pay board at the refuge, which is on a sliding scale. During your stay you will probably find that you may be able to put some money together for your future needs. Please do not worry if you don’t have any money right now, because workers will help you to access an income, and you will not have to pay in advance. If you are in transitional accommodation you will pay rent based on a percentage of your income.
  • Workers are very careful of your privacy and will not tell your partner any information about you.
  • We have excellent security at the refuge – a monitored security system, personal duress alarms and suitable locks and screens. We also have systems in place to make sure security is adhered to.
  • Yes, of course! We want you to stay in your own home if you are safe to do so, and we will tailor our support to suit your needs. This may be with outreach visits or over the phone. We can help you work out a safety plan, assist you with making referrals and appointments for legal issues, counselling and income support. In fact, all of the things that we provide to anyone.

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