Kelly, 18, lived in a broken old caravan
Kelly’s* life was turned upside down as a teenager when her father died. Her mother took it very hard. In time she found a new partner, but within two years he also passed away suddenly. This broke Kelly’s mother, and tragically she poured out all her pain and anger on Kelly.
Life at home became worse and worse. Kelly was eventually kicked out of home by her mother, who became increasingly abusive. Kelly was 18 at the time and had nowhere to go.
She ended up living in an old caravan in the front yard of a friend’s house. The van was in bad shape, with a hole in the floor that Kelly covered over with a rug. After a few weeks she was asked to move on from her friend’s yard, so Kelly had the caravan moved out onto the street.
Eventually Kelly reached out for help, and Mission Australia provided her with crisis accommodation immediately. At the beginning, Kelly was frightened, depressed and very upset. Early on she would throw child-like tantrums, but in time grew to trust and respect the people helping her. She said our case workers were the first people who had listened to her in years.
Her attitude continued to improve. With our support, Kelly completed a series of education and employment workshops and secured a part-time job at a supermarket. She’s since moved into transitional accommodation and has started a new full-time job.
Incredibly, Kelly has also reached out to her mother to try to rebuild their relationship, and the early stages of this have been promising.
Independence is precious
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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 helpAcknowledging 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, contact emergency services on 000 immediately.
- MensLine Australia —1300 78 99 78.
- Relationships Australia — 1300 364 277.
*Name changed to protect the identity of the people we help
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