A local charity seeks to help women build resilience to recover from trauma.

The Women’s Resilience Centre (WRC) at Mona Vale was founded in 2020 by Simone Allan (main image) as a place of hope, healing and recovery for women who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse, deep loss or trauma.

Ms Allan said her motivation was to provide capacity building for women who had experienced trauma, and had progressed beyond a shelter, or perhaps had not required one, but found themselves without the tools they needed to move forward.

“If we do not repair, we will repeat. Many women return to unsafe environments, as they do not have the support, and believe they do not have the skills to step forward, thereby perpetuating the tragic cycle of abuse and trauma. The Women’s Resilience Centre supports longer term recovery.

“We provide a safe and trauma-sensitive community centre with professionals who care, online and face-to-face capability-building programs, lived experience and capability-building mentors, delivered nationally,” explained Ms Allen.

(L-R) Rory Amon, Bianca Crvelin, Ann Whitelock, Simone Allan, Mark Speakman

NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman (image above, right) recently visited Ms Allan and Women’s Resilience Centre Chair Ann Whitelock (image above, centre) with Pittwater MP Rory Amon (image above, left) and Northern Beaches Councillor Bianca Crvelin (image above, second from left).

They were told by Ms Allan about the aims of the WRC and how it meets a capacity building need that is not being addressed by current domestic violence responses.

“I’ve seen how toxic domestic violence is, and how it destroys lives, not just that of women, but of whole families.

“Women who seek help often walk away from their home with nothing. I thought it would be good if we could build a community service centre to support women stepping forward with practical stuff. I’m a country girl, I’m about practical stuff.

“If you don’t get your basic needs met, food and shelter, then you’re not going to be in a space to look for a job. We work collegially with housing groups and real estate groups to support women stepping out of a shelter. They refer women to us, and we work with them on their mindset,” said Ms Allan.

The Women’s Resilience Centre delivers that capacity building through structured programs, including modules such as Employment Readiness and Financial Well-being. They also offer peer-to-peer mentoring, with women matched to a mentor who has lived experience of their circumstances.

The WRC is a registered Australian charity and is currently seeking more women to volunteer as mentors, who have lived experience of domestic and family violence, and can help guide another woman to recovery. Anyone interested can find out more at the Women’s Resilience Centre website.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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