Family violence crisis response service safe steps to receive $50,000 after Celia Pacquola wins Dancing with the Stars

29 March 2020

safe steps, Victoria’s 24/7 family violence crisis response service, has expressed thanks to Celia and Channel 10 for the $50,00 donation. 

“We are incredibly grateful that Celia chose to support people at the crisis point of family violence,” said safe steps CEO Rita Butera. “This contribution will help women and children to escape abuse and live free from violence.”

As Victoria’s state-wide, first response service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence, safe steps took more than 86,000 phone calls last year. They secured emergency accommodation for 116 women and children, on average, every night. 

“The work they do is incredible,” said Celia Pacquola. “They’re an organisation at the crisis point, helping women get out of situations when they feel they have nowhere else to turn, including those with children and pets. safe steps is stepping up, and is there to help them.”

safe steps CEO Rita Butera said that the donation was especially welcome as the sector was preparing for the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including public health measures such as physical distancing and quarantine.

“We understand that daily life is changing for a lot of people as a result of the coronavirus. People may have lost income, they may be spending more time at home with fewer options for getting out, and they may not be as connected to their support networks. These factors can all intensify risk when it comes to family violence,” Ms Butera said.

“Our message to Victorians experiencing family violence, or who are fearful that they might, is that we are still here for you. Please don’t hesitate to call us.”

Ms Butera added that she was delighted to personally congratulate Celia on her win last night. “Celia’s perseverance, humour and generosity have touched many people and her win is well deserved. From all at safe steps, we thank Celia, everyone who voted for her.” 

If you are experiencing family violence you can call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or contact online at In an emergency call 000.