• Glossary Term

Female Rescue Home


Female Rescue was a movement based on Evangelical Christian principles, and its aim was to reform ‘fallen women’ (women engaged in prostitution) through a combination of prayer and hard work. Female Rescue Homes were established in Australia from around the 1850s. These Homes were heavily influenced by British models, particularly the Magdalen Asylum in London, established in 1758. The operations of Female Rescue Homes were not limited to the rescue and reform of fallen women. Increasingly, these homes catered to single mothers and their babies. Some Female Rescue Homes specialised in women with particular needs, such as alcohol and drugs, or women released from prison. Despite the evolution of this type of institution from the 1850s, the term ‘female rescue home’ was still in common use around Australia in the mid-twentieth century.

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