Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

My Money, My Life

I remember my first client really clearly. It was a difficult case for someone like me, just starting out but it was a good outcome. And that was so motivating. It was like, ‘Yes, I can do this!’ I really wanted to work in this field and it gave me hope about what we could achieve.

She was from New Zealand and she was very alone here in Australia. Her husband isolated her: he would not allow her to speak with her family. Or connect with them. They worked together in his family’s business and they shared a mortgage. Problem was, it was in his name. She would make payments towards the mortgage but when she decided to leave him, it was like she had nothing of her own. Her whole income had been going into her husband’s account: she’d never had access to it even though she worked full time. She’d never had her own money. To leave him would be a big struggle.

Normally, we could have applied for her to get support to start again through the Start Safely program. Start Safely is a program that subsidises rent for women leaving DV. Unfortunately, because my client wasn’t an Australian citizen – she wasn’t entitled to anything.

This meant she had to have money saved in order to move out. We opened a new account for her at the bank and organised for her pay to go straight into that. Once this was happening she could make preparations to leave. It wasn’t easy for her to keep going during this time because she was still working in the business with her husband and they would still see each other every day. But she did.

When she was ready, we found a private rental and she was able to manage the payments on her own. She also found a way to re-kindle her relationship with her daughter and found support that way.

It was such an exciting outcome: a big achievement. When I closed the case, I told her that if anything ever happens you can always reach out to us again. We’ll be here. I’ve never heard from her since and I think that’s a good sign. It’s the best sign of all.

Told by Tania, Family Worker – Tania enjoys walking alongside women with their children, supporting them through their journey. She especially likes spending time with children, creating a safe and fun space with them. 

Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash

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