Salam Safe House started initially as Sakina Inc which was established in 2014 to provide safe shelter, empowerment and advocacy for Islamic CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) women affected by domestic violence. Along with preventative and early intervention programs to address domestic and family violence, IWAA provides crisis accommodation and case work support for women and children under the Sakina Refuge Program at Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA).

Who We Are

Five years ago, there were no clear avenues available for women and their children from CALD backgrounds who experienced DV. The avenues which were available did not necessarily meet their specific religious and cultural sensitivities. Moreover, the local shelters were overcrowded (and continue to be so) and at times, produced another layer of anxiety and trauma already experienced by women in DV situations due to incidents of racism and bullying.

As a result of the inadequacies, Muslim and CALD women seeking safe shelter had to be placed in people’s private homes. This was by no means adequate nor secure. Accordingly, Sakina (Arabic word, meaning tranquillity) recognised the urgent need to respond appropriately to the needs of desperate women and their children in these circumstances.

Sakina Refuge Inc has been operating for over three years on mainly a voluntary basis before it had to cease it operations due to the property being comprised.

Sakina Refuge Inc has recently been acquired by the Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA) and aims to provide a tranquil space for women from a CALD background where holistic healing begins. We aim to provide these women with not only safe shelter, but also programs and initiatives to empower them in making choices that will assist them in the process of independence and liberation. We also aim to assist women in becoming free from control, influence and aid by increasing the ability of self-determination. We do this by engaging with other professionals such as such as psychologists, doctors, allied health practitioners, social workers, employment consultants, and other relevant government and non-governmental agencies.

After the first month, the DV caseworker will then work out a plan with the client regarding their pathway to independence. Education and job options are explored and future housing options are discussed. A client is expected to leave Sakina after 3 months to ensure that she is not dependent on our assistance; however, we recognise that for some women it may take up to 6 months of assistance before they are ready to move on. In over 3 years when it was operational under Sakina Refuge Inc, it has been able to assist approximately 90 clients with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. While the refuge is based in Queensland, the clients have been referred to us from all over Australia, including South Australia and New South Wales by major organisations such as DV Connect.

Sakina means Spirit of Tranquility, or Peace of Reassurance. Over the last 5 years the Shelter has been delivering refuge services (on a self-funded basis) supporting over 80 women and children to escape domestic violent situations.
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TESTIMONIALS

You do a wonderful job with the kids that require our help and support the people in need all over the globe. I will definitely join you as a volunteer!

Lorraine Franklin

It's always a pleasure to work with these guys - they know what they want and that is why they achieve their goals. Thanks a lot for the team spirit and your work!

Brett Lewis

Your performance under the most trying circumstances was nothing less than exemplary. You are the sole reason our rescue mission actually happened! Cannot thank you enough.

Dianna Young

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