Back from rock bottom Kids’ service at crisis point
“I DO not want to be the mum who hits her children.” This is a domestic violence survivor’s story. It is intended to highlight that asking for help can transform lives for the better. Names have not been used to protect the victims.
NONE of us gets to choose the situation we are born into and should it be a violent, dysfunctional one, it all too often predisposes us to history repeating.
This happened to one young woman when her partner echoed the frightening experiences of her childhood. It eventually left her completely at rock bottom and with no family or support to turn to.
At her lowest point, that young woman realised for anything to change she had to experience a final indignation: to let go of her pride.
The very survival of her young family depended on it.
She sought help with Anglicare WA and credits it with bringing not just herself but her children back from the brink. She had not seen the signs. “When I first met my partner, everything was fine; the problems didn’t begin until after the children were born,” she said.
“I never had any role models; not seeing healthy relationships, it’s hard to know what those relationships look like.”
Seeking help changed something she was desperate to avoid.
“My kids have seen domestic violence and I was so worried; I really did not want that for them,” she said. “Enough was enough; it was a call for help for my children.”
Her life has not only stabilised but is set to improve because she reached out.
“We have a home which we love and now I have the time for my kids,” she said.
“It’s like a 180-degree turn to where we were. We had nothing, absolutely nothing.
“I remember having just bread or Weet-Bix to eat because I felt too ashamed to go and ask for a food hamper.”
She said she could now enjoy her children and had built solid foundations for her family.
“I have gone back to study and I am due to finish my course this year,” she said.
“We are all calmer and happier. I’m glad that I recognised I needed to make a different choice.
“I’m not going to be the mum hitting her children”
She said support was out there and had this advice to others affected.
“It’s tough but if you need help, go seek it. There will be help out there for your family,” she said. A VITAL domestic violence counselling service for children is in danger of closing and needs help.
Anglicare WA’s free Young Hearts service is at a crisis point since the Mandurah office was forced to close last year and the Rockingham office became part-time.
Waiting lists for an appointment are now more than six months.
Court orders from the Family Court of WA to attend Young Hearts have been adversely affected by the long waiting list. The in-demand service is for children up to 18 years old and is recommended by the Family Court of WA, the Department for Child Protection, WA Police, schools, hospitals and com-
It is dedicated to breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence by reaching out to children before any problems arise.
A major fundraiser, Angels Rising – Dinner in the Cathedral, is on November 10 and has been organised for the service. It is an allinclusive three-course dinner with executive chef Chris Taylor.
Visit www.angelsrising. org.au.
Anglicare staff Melissa, Jacky and James.