Operation Courage provides a service for women and children experiencing domestic violence in the Orange and Cabonne Shires.
Domestic violence and the lack of suitable crisis accommodation had long been identified as an issue in Orange and was reported as a high need in the Orange Community Plan of 2001-2006. There had been many attempts over the years to secure funding for the purchase/construction of a women’s refuge in Orange but all had failed due to the lack of available funding for the property and for recurrent expenditure. The nearest Women’s Refuges are located in Forbes and Bathurst. Anecdotal information presented stated that women were unwilling to use these services as it meant leaving support of family and friends and removing children from schools.
In 2002 the NSW Department of Community Service and Orange City Council hosted a forum of Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) services within the city. As a result of this forum a consortium of service providers was formed and commenced working to develop an innovative model to assist women and children escaping domestic violence to remain in the community.
Operation Courage is a community partnership initiative of the Orange Crisis Accommodation Network and commenced in 2005. Operation Courage is an innovative crisis accommodation model, designed in consultation with domestic violence network members, health and community service providers and local government and government departments, to meet the needs, preferences and safety concerns of women and their children experiencing domestic violence in Orange and Cabonne NSW.
The service is funded by State and Federal Government’s under the Going Home Staying Home (GHSH) Program and is a service of Housing Plus.