women's village: mums and kids creating their own safe zone
One of the
biggest leaps we have made in family reintegration has been the formation of the Green Gecko Women’s Village. Our Women’s Village comprises of seven homes inside a secure complex, being rented for the Green Gecko’s single mothers or women at risk of severe domestic abuse, and their children.
When our young adults self-assess their ‘safety at home’ situation, it is not always the parents they are at risk from. Sometimes it can be from extended family, visitors or neighbours.
Low-income housing often attracts problem gambling, violence and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, which is one of the reasons why our children and young adults often refuse to sleep at home.
The Women’s Village has allowed many Geckos to be fully reintegrated with their mothers without risk of abuse. The women and their children have self-determined their own code of conduct and rules, which includes no men (other than Gecko family and staff), no alcohol, no smoking and no violence.
There is a dedicated visitors’ hut outside the perimeter wall where families can meet male friends or family members for lunch, dinner or just for a chat.
It does take a village to raise a child, and having the support of other mothers and older siblings helps to create a safer and happier environment for everyone living in the Women's Village.