Not-for-profit organisation DVConnect is dedicated to helping Queenslanders escape domestic, family and sexual violence through its state-wide specialist crisis counselling, intervention, emergency transport and accommodation services.

Every night, DVConnect assists up to 30 families for emergency accommodation and its 24/7 Womensline receives 1 call every 7 minutes.

The Lottery Office is donating $10,000 towards DVConnects programs, awarding $8,000 to Bella’s Sanctuary.

Bella’s Sanctuary is the first Australian purpose-built bridging accommodation facility for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence requiring long-term accommodation.

The facility is for women and children after they have escaped a domestic violence situation, where they want to remain on the Gold Coast, close to their employment or support system.

The Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood said Bella’s Sanctuary allows survivors time to rebuild their lives after experiencing trauma.

 
“Bella’s Sanctuary fills a void in transitional housing of this kind, which is a contributing factor to women becoming homeless after leaving domestic violence as often they believe their only other choice is returning to their abuser,” Ms Wood said.   “The facility provides a financially viable and supportive steppingstone that cements rental history and enables access to local supports, safety, local schools, and independence through provision of a stable home environment.”
 

Ms Wood said the remaining $2,000 will go towards the Pets in Crisis program, a unique service dedicated to providing alternative accommodation to the pets of those escaping domestic violence.

 
“Most refuges and homeless shelters will not allow pets to stay with their owners, which often becomes a barrier to leaving the dangerous household,” she said.   “These funds will be used in housing homeless pets and providing meals, medicines, and emergency treatments.”
 

The Lottery Office urges anyone interested in donating to DVConnect to visit the website: www.dvconnect.org