Simone’s safe haven for all
Former judo champion Simone has long stood up for society’s most vulnerable members. She spent several decades working in community services in Sydney, both as a social worker and counsellor.
When Simone and her family moved to the Gold Coast, she was dismayed to discover that domestic violence was just as prevalent there.
Understanding that women often stay in violent relationships for fear of leaving their pets behind, Simone set up The Sanctuary – a refuge that welcomes animal companions. With her husband, she bought property and then recruited volunteers to help create a safe haven.
The pets stay with women and children in units, which Simone and her supporters have made welcoming and secure. The refuge also offers support services and activities to help women build healthy and independent futures.
“Our refuge plays a small part in solving the problem of domestic violence by offering a healing place to women and children and a safe space for much-loved pets who, after all, are part of the family.”
Watch Simone’s video here.