Hong Kong's first family crisis support centre - with a jacuzzi and a meditation room for Japanese tea ceremonies - will open next month to provide a shelter for people with serious domestic problems. It opens at a time when incidents of domestic violence are soaring, with the economic downturn increasing the pressure on families, and in the wake of a series of family tragedies. The centre - housed in a two-storey historical building in Kwun Tong Road formerly used as a base for the Royal Air Force and a Vietnamese migrant centre - can hold up to 40 people, with rooms for couples and a family of four. The Social Welfare Department has signed a five-year contract with the Caritas organisation to run the centre at a cost of $5 million a year. The Government has spent $17 million to furnish the building. People can also relax and enjoy garden views and a large kitchen is available. Director of Social Welfare Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said: 'We want to provide a nice environment for our clients. It is not only a place for the grassroots but people from all classes. 'The centre will be as comfortable as possible so that people like to stay here for counselling.' Paulina Kwok Chi-ying, a social worker from Caritas family services and the centre's supervisor, said clients could join a Japanese tea-art class in a meditation room or receive group counselling. 'Meditation helps them to relax and think over their problems,' she said. Official figures show that the number of battered-spouse cases jumped from 1,009 in 1998 to 2,433 last year. The number of child abuse cases rose from 409 to 535 during the same period. Last month, a jobless father attacked his three children in their Tze Wan Shan home, killing two of them before hanging himself. He had been involved in a custody battle with his ex-wife.