Kate’s Story: escaping domestic violence
Kate faced a gut-wrenching choice between staying in a violent home or facing homelessness. Kate made the difficult decision to leave behind everything she knew in the hope of finding a safe place to call home.
With her four children in tow, she became part of the hidden homeless, finding shelter wherever she could, including couches, hotels, and women's refuges. She was always looking over her shoulder, afraid that her ex-partner would find them.
Finally, Kate found a permanent place to live, but it was more than a thousand kilometers away from her previous home. She knew her ex-partner wouldn’t be able to find them there, but she worried about her children starting a new school. The family had a roof over their heads, but Kate and her children struggled to feel settled. The older children couldn’t stay focused at school and found it difficult to make new friends
Overcoming hardship and unexpected life events
Raising children on her own, Kate struggled to make ends meet. After groceries and bills, there was barely enough for school supplies or extracurricular activities.
To add to her worries, Kate was secretly dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Treatment had stopped when she left home and caring for her children was more of an urgent priority for Kate.
When Kate connected with Mission Australia case worker, Matthew, she no longer had to carry the burden of providing for her family alone. Matthew wrote a list of all the family's needs and worked tirelessly to cross items off one by one. Together with local schools and charities, Matthew arranged tutoring and activities to help Kate’s children find their feet at their new school. He also used donations from Mission Australia supporters to buy backpacks, lunch boxes, and vouchers for school shoes.
Matthew visited Kate's home regularly and whenever he noticed an opportunity to bless the family, he surprised the family with pots and pans for the kitchen, wardrobes, and some baby items. He helped Kate provide her children with everyday security and routine by having homemade dinners, a place to do their homework, and clean sheets on a familiar bed. He gave Kate hope and reminded her of her own strength and resilience, helping her move forward.
As Kate's children settled in, she began to do things for herself. Matthew arranged for her to see a counsellor to recover from the trauma of a violent relationship. With her children’s needs looked after, Kate was able to resume health treatment. Kate is on the road to recovery and thanks to our supporters, her family has found a safe place to call home.
With the right support, anything is possible
This transformation took a lot of people's help and amazing perseverance from Kate, and it shows what is possible when people work together.
In Australia, up to 94% of people experiencing homelessness are hidden from view1, just like Kate and her family were.
It's happening to so many people in our communities, and it takes each and every one of us to do what we can to address it.
Know someone affected by domestic and family violence?
If you are experiencing abuse or violence, it is not your fault. There are support services that can help you.
If your life is in danger, call 000.
For 24/7 domestic violence counselling call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Where to get help
Acknowledging that one of your relationships may be unhealthy or potentially harmful can be overwhelming to cope on your own. It can also be difficult to see the bigger context when trying to look at a relationship outside of our own lens. Whether it’s a relationship you need help navigating, a behaviour you want to change or advice to support a loved one involved in an unhealthy relationship, reach out to:
If your life is in danger, please contact emergency services on 000 immediately.
- Lifeline - 13 11 14 or chat online.
- MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78
- Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277
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