Opening a new door
The herstory of Beryl Women Inc. 1975–2015
On International Women’s Day in 1975, a new door was opened for women escaping domestic and family violence in the ACT, in the form of the Canberra Women’s Refuge, now known as Beryl Women Inc.
This book is about how opening that door 40 years ago has impacted on the lives of those women and their accompanying children (who have since opened their own doors), and those working at and supporting the Refuge.
The changing understanding of domestic violence, and the increasing willingness of society to intervene, legislate and speak up against violence against women and children are revealed, and brought to life in the stories and interviews that these pages chart.
This history will also outline Beryl Women Inc.’s resilience and adaptability since its inception. Key influences on the operation and maintenance of the crisis service will be evident in this history, including the women’s liberation and refuge movements, legal and government policy reforms, resource constraints, and the Refuge’s professionalisation over time.
Importantly, it provides a vital snapshot of the women’s sector in the ACT that highlights the ongoing importance of the work of Beryl Women Inc., and the continued need to eliminate violence against women and children.