SOS Women's Services is located in Sydney and is overseen by the Management Committees of Detour House, The Girls' Refuge and Leichhardt Women's Community Health Centre, local business owners and service managers. Our spokeswoman Roxanne McMurray is the manager of Leichhardt Women's Community Health Centre and has many years' experience in women's health, including domestic violence and trauma-related issues.
SOS was formed in April 2014 to prevent the closure of refuges in Sydney which had operated for women and girls for decades. Following the success of that campaign, we expanded our advocacy state-wide after being contacted by refuges across NSW seeking assistance.
We lobby MPs, speak at forums, and raise issues in the media on behalf of domestic violence and girls’ refuges, as well as other women’s services for women recovering from child abuse and trauma and experiencing addiction and mental illness.
We are not-for-profit and non party-political. We meet regularly with Government Ministers and Members of Parliament from all political groups, and our advocacy has seen more than half a billion dollars provided to women and girls’ services.
Our achievements include:
· Successfully lobbying for all refuges to have their funding extended until 2020 to allow the sector to rebuild
· Helping to secure $20 million in additional funding to assist with the expansion of 24 hour services across NSW
· Retention of a specialist domestic violence caseworker at the Family Court with the support of the Chief Justice
· Establishment of the Service Support Fund which ensured a further 14 women’s refuges are funded
· Restoration of funding to homelessness services in inner Sydney, including preventing the closure of the city’s women’s refuges
. Securing essential funding for mandatory pay increases for staff at Sydney's girls refuges.
We are currently working with the NSW Government and the community on major proposals which, if approved by government, will greatly improve services for women and girls.
For more information see our CURRENT PROJECTS page.
(Photo on the home page is Jules and Guy Sebastian, Ambassadors of The Sebastian Foundation, pictured with Roxanne McMurray, spokeswoman for SOS and Kerri Betteridge, General Manager of The Girls Refuge, at the opening of renovations to The Girls Refuge organised by The Sebastian Foundation.)