Refuge Victoria is very proud of its grassroots history.
Forty-five years ago, women in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne came together and took possession of community houses to create ‘safe houses’ for women and children who were not safe in their homes due to family or domestic violence. These safe houses were the first family violence refuges and were voluntarily staffed by a small team of passionate women. Families seeking refuge were accommodated in each bedroom, often sleeping five to a room and sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Between 2012 and 2014, four of these original family violence refuges merged to form Safe Futures Foundation. The refuges were known as Maroondah Halfway House, Brenda House, Woorarra and Robinson House.
In 2021 Safe Futures Foundation changed its name to Refuge Victoria to better reflect the nature of the organisation’s core purpose and service. We now have 45 staff and manage three refuge facilities consisting of 18 standalone units, 15 crisis properties and have nomination rights over 35 transitional homes.