Bev Jordan, journalist at Hills Shire Times, filed this report:
A lack of services for victims of domestic violence in the Hills has resulted in the establishment of the Lisa Harnum Foundation. The charity foundation has been established by Hills resident Aileen Mountifield, a member of the Hills Domestic Violence Support Group.
The foundation is named after domestic violence victim Lisa Harnum, whose boyfriend was jailed earlier this year for her murder after he was found guilty of throwing her from the balcony of their high-rise unit.
Mrs Mountifield said the foundation will be providing information, support and counselling for victims of domestic violence.
“We want to offer a safe place for women to come to and access a range of services – we will have information and free counselling and run recovery groups.”
Developing discreet phone app
The foundation is also developing a discreet phone app so that victims of domestic violence can access information about services they need without the fear of being discovered. Mrs Mountifield said the app will be launched by the end of October and will aid women seeking help in dangerous situations.
Lisa Harnum Foundation to fill the gap
“The Lisa Harnum Foundation is trying to plug a huge gap in the services available in the area,” she said.
One of the main services for victims of Domestic Violence in the Hills, St Michael’s Family Centre at Baulkham Hills closed its doors last week. Mrs Mountifield said the closure had been “heartbreaking” and there was now no refuge in the area.
The Lisa Harnum Foundation’s board members include therapist Deborah Sanasi. the foundation has the support of the Hills Domestic Violence Support Group.