Escaping violence in her family home was not a straightforward decision for Sarah.*
Leaving a dangerous household meant risking homelessness, which in turn meant she risked having her unborn child removed from her care at birth.
She came to the Mara Pirni Healing Place when she was pregnant, having left her home due to violence and drug use.
The stress of her situation was immense, though she was able to stay temporarily at a safe house, it wasn’t a permanent solution. Sarah also had her own mental health issues and alcohol and drug use to contend with, plus there were fines and infringements to pay.
Connecting with the Mara Pirni team was an important step, our team was able to assist her in navigating the various government departments and processes to access the support she truly needed.
The right support
With Mara Pirni’s assistance, Sarah was linked with mental health services and legal services, and was able to complete necessary documentation to receive Centrelink payments.
She began attending meetings with the Department of Communities, and our team began advocating for the Department to provide her with urgent housing.
Once this was secured our team arranged for a home security system to be installed, and worked with the local police to provide Sarah with a personal duress alarm that could be used in a family and domestic violence emergency.
She was also encouraged to access the Department of Justice’s Work and Development Permit Scheme, which allows participants to “pay off” their fines by undertaking approved activities.
Most importantly, Sarah’s child was not removed from her care. Her child remains with her, and Sarah has continued to use Mara Pirni’s services to heal herself and nurture her child.
She regularly attends Mara Pirni, using our creche facilities to allow her to attend on-site counselling and healing services.
Sarah is also taking positive steps to breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence, educating herself about abusive relationships and unhealthy behaviours. She has also taken steps to learn more about parenting styles and how to best respond to her child’s needs.
By linking Sarah with a multitude of local support services, our team provided Sarah with the chance to stay out of a violent home and build a safer environment where both she and her child can grow.
*Not her real name. Pseudonyms have been used.