Vinnies Support Women and Girls With Help From Supre Foundation
In Australia, domestic and family violence is the main cause for homelessness for women and girls. When a victim leaves an abusive relationship, it often means leaving the family home, cutting ties to existing accommodation and financial support. In homelessness services across the country, 42% of clients have experienced family and domestic violence.
Vinnies have specialised domestic violence services across NSW, where we help victims of relationship violence within a framework that is supports women’s choices. We aim to provide long-term support and friendship at what can be an extremely vulnerable time for women and children, helping them build new lives and move away from relationship violence through short-term accommodation and counselling, as well as helping them transition to permanent housing.
Coming to Australia as an asylum seeker, Amber thought her days of unrest were over after finding work, friends and marriage in her new country.
But when she became pregnant with her daughter, the once subtle verbal and physical abuse inflicted by her husband began to worsen. Working two jobs in aged care up until just three days before giving birth, Amber found herself trapped in a violent cycle dependent upon the man she thought would change.
When the physical abuse led her to the medical centre, she finally called the police and was connected with a Vinnies Emergency Refuge Centre.
“I took two pairs of pyjamas and what I was wearing… I didn’t have time to think. I just needed to go”
Supplied with accommodation, clothing, services and support for her and her daughter, Amber transferred to the Marian Centre, a Vinnies crisis centre specialising in supporting women and children displaced by domestic violence. They helped her apply for a new home, eventually finding a unit to suit their needs. “I was lucky, it was like I had family,” she says.
With assistance at every step of the way, and encouragement to achieve, Amber moved into her new unit and began studying Early Childhood Care.
With the support of Vinnies and her case worker, Amber found the strength to cut off her abusive relationship. “I found support that I would never find perhaps even inside my family.”
Slowly rebuilding, Amber is taking the next steps for a happy and settled life, with her daughter now at school. She says that if she knew about Vinnies refuge centres earlier, she would have left a long time ago.
“I didn’t know that there is help like this, that they help you and they care” She says, “So I will ask anyone who can help, if they don’t know where this money is going or the people who need it … They change a life. With everything, they change a life.”
The Supre Foundation has generously donated $15,000 to Vinnies to help us provide critical support to girls and women impacted by COVID-19, specifically to victims of domestic violence during this unprecedented time. We are so grateful for the Supré community in helping us continue to provide crisis accommodation and shelter, and long-term support and friendship, for women and children wanting to build new lives and move away from relationship violence. In addition, from now until end of August, 100% of proceeds from all Supré Foundation products will be donated between Vinnies, Food Bank and Beyond Blue to help with food, shelter and mental health services for vulnerable women during this uncertain time.