Main Content

Home a safe haven

With three teenagers, including two with disabilities, and a toddler to care for, leaving her home to get away from an abusive partner was complicated for Catriona*.

Unable to just pack up and go, the devoted mother endured three years of isolation and physical, mental, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of her partner.

It was only after a major abusive incident that Ruah’s Family and Domestic Violence Coordinated Response Service (CRS) was called in by WA Police and our team could help Catriona and her children escape the situation.

With no refuge space available at the time for the mother and her four children, Catriona decided to stay in her home. Our CRS team worked collaboratively and seamlessly with Ruah’s Safe at Home (SAH) team to make the home safe. The SAH team conducted a safety and risk assessment and recommended security measures to safeguard the family. All the locks were changed and security cameras installed at the stay-at-home mum’s house to help the family feel safe in their home.

As the family’s finances were compromised as a result of leaving her partner, Ruah also arranged for emergency relief funds. Despite these initiatives, Catriona’s ex-partner spent several months stalking her – going so far as to use a neighbour’s property as a base from which to spy on the family. Catriona was forced to go to the Police to report her ex’s threatening behaviour and, with Ruah’s support and advice, the family was granted a family violence restraining order. With the restraining order and improved security measures in place, Catriona and her children felt much safer and they began rebuilding their lives.

Over time the CRS team helped Catriona to feel empowered and, underpinned by the additional security, she felt secure enough to pursue mediation to enable her youngest child to see his father. That conciliatory gesture demonstrated Catriona’s success and the inner strength she found as a result of the safe haven created together with our support.