Castle Towers safe room launches to help victims of domestic abuse in The Hills

DISCREET: Lisa Harnum Foundation founder Aileen Mountifield is reaching out to vulnerable women with a discreet service tucked away in Castle Towers shopping centre.
DISCREET: Lisa Harnum Foundation founder Aileen Mountifield is reaching out to vulnerable women with a discreet service tucked away in Castle Towers shopping centre.

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors - bruises can be hidden and tears brushed away. 

But a Hills-based foundation is helping women in a discreet way.

A “space room” for victims of domestic abuse has been set up in Castle Towers Shopping Centre to help women at risk to discreetly access support services. 

Established by the Lisa Harnum Foundation, the safe space - which will officially launch next month - is part of an outreach program aiming to provide advice and help for vulnerable women. 

Founder Aileen Mountifield said most women wouldn’t go to an obvious or sign posted domestic violence service. “We are always looking at creative and innovative ways to connect with women,” Ms Mountifield said. 

 “It’s giving women the opportunity to go somewhere that is very safe, discreet and confidential.”

The service is free with women able to speak with a caseworker and two trained counsellors. 

Ms Mountifield said there were multiple levels of domestic violence including physical, emotional and financial abuse. 

“It all goes on behind closed doors so I want to encourage women to access the service because it has been set up to eliminate the fear of talking to someone and knowing there is a service there to help them,” Ms Mountifield said. “A lot of women are sitting in these situations unsure where to go or who to talk to and that’s why we set this up.

“We have gained so much support from the community.” The safe room will be officially launched on November 3 at Castle Hill RSL. 

The Lisa Harnum Foundation provides a range of services for families escaping domestic abuse including the provision of transitional housing in The Hills. 

It is named after Lisa Harnum who fell from a 15 floor balcony in 2011. Her fiance Simon Gittany was convicted of her murder.

At risk women are encouraged to call 1300 732 848 and speak with a caseworker.

Details: http://www.lisahf.org.au.