Image for Oxford St Safe Place No Longer

Oxford St Safe Place No Longer

The ACON Safe Place, located at 60 Oxford Street, is set to close after the weekend of June 28 and 29.

The six month pilot project was set up in November as part of a multi-faceted strategy to deal with the increasing homophobic violence on the strip and the perceived lack of action by government and police. It set out to raise awareness of homophobic violence, increase reporting of violence, to provide a refuge for people escaping violence and to improve the response from NSW Police and from the Government.

Recent evaluation of the space deemed that it was no longer viable to keep it open, given the small numbers of people who were actually making use of it. The objectives of the project are also being met in other ways.

“The most important result was getting people to focus on the issue of homophobic violence, particularly around Oxford St,” he says. “As a result, our community’s relationship with Surry Hills police has improved substantially. There’s an increased police presence around Oxford St, customer service is improving at the Local Area Command, there are now a range of ongoing consultation processes in place, and discussions are underway around joint work.

“Reports of violence to the AVP have increased significantly since the opening of the Safe Place and our community is now much more aware of the need to report incidents of homophobic violence as the most effective way to get police and government to take action.

“The Safe Place provided a place for victims of violence to get support and assistance and we’ll be continuing this by refocussing on our Safe Place Businesses program which aims to provide people with a whole a range of places where they can seek help if they need it. In addition to this we’ll be refocussing on anti-homophobia work in schools as well as lobbying relevant authorities for better security for our community.”

Mr Orr thanked the volunteers who who staffed the facility every Friday and Saturday right through the early hours of the morning.

“Our whole community is extremely grateful to our wonderfully dedicated Safe Place volunteers and we thank them for all the great work they’ve done in helping to make Oxford St a safer place for everyone.”

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davewb said on the 20th Jun, 2008

I was hoping it would be become a 24/7 thing. Shame Oxford St has no community-based GLTBQi centre.


honest said on the 20th Jun, 2008

It was a white elephant anyway.


davewb said on the 20th Jun, 2008

Atleast it was something. I find it surprising that we have no GLBTQi community centre in or near Oxford St.


DeepBlueDreamer said on the 22nd Jun, 2008

A community centre was one of the suggestions that was put forward to replace the pilot, and I think it's still being discussed. But as with everything else, the funding would be an issue.