Wendy and her five children were referred to DV West by Link2Home, after Wendy phoned seeking help to relocate away from her violent husband. Wendy reported years of living in an abusive relationship where she experienced bullying and controlling behaviour. Her ex-husband used the technique of putdowns to make Wendy feel worthless and maintain control over her and was verbally abusive towards her and the children. Regularly calling them repulsive names. Wendy said she ‘worked hard to keep the peace’ and was treading on eggshells throughout the relationship for fear of her children being harmed. Wendy had no say in how the house was kept for herself or her children. She said that she was totally isolated because she felt ashamed to have friends and no one visited her home because the perpetrator kept animals in the house against Wendy’s will and the family were forced to live in squalor.

Since engaging with DV West in an Outreach capacity the trajectory of Wendy’s life has changed. The service was able to assist Wendy to obtain Start Safely (a subsidy which helps people secure private rental accommodation, so they do not have to return to the violent situation). DV West advocated strongly with the local real estate to secure her a property for the family which they have now moved into and are becoming settled. We made referrals for the family for counselling, legal information and family support. We also supported Wendy to receive compensation for the trauma she had experienced through Victims of Crime.

Made possible through donations, we were able to offer Wendy to go on a break. When we offered Wendy the opportunity of a short holiday she was overjoyed. Wendy said that the family would love to go to the beach as she had never had a holiday with her children. Because of a generous donation we were able to organise for Wendy to take her Mum along with her to support her with the children and we provided Coles vouchers and fuel vouchers to assist with any additional expenses.

Being engaged with DV West has been a positive experience for this family as we were able to assist them to relocate to a new area and they are now safe and happy and looking forward to a new chapter in their lives. Also, having the opportunity of a holiday together to have fun and enjoy their time together helped to re-establish their relationships and create positive new memories to reduce the trauma and the impact of the past events.