Emerge Stories

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Emerge Stories

Read about some of the people we have worked with and who work with us.

There is no running away from the fact that family violence is the single biggest cause of homelessness in Victoria. More than one third of women accessing homelessness services do so because they’re fleeing family violence. Poverty and financial hardship are issues for 32% of women escaping family violence. Each year in August, Emerge supports Homelessness Week as it shines a light on the issue of homelessness. We know how complex the ...

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SheSafe, Australia’s new and exciting ride sharing service, has become Emerge’s latest corporate partner. The service is donating a percentage of every fare to Emerge, and three other charities. SheSafe Founder Emma Buchanan established the business after overhearing two mothers chatting about how unhappy they felt about their daughters getting into taxis and other ride sharing cars with male drivers, especially late at night. “I did some ...

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The benefits and challenges of using arts therapy with infants and children who have experienced family violence were spelled out by two Emerge workers at the World Association of Infant Mental Health conference in Rome. Bianca Morrison and Emma Hodges presented case studies about how Emerge’s arts therapy program, which has been running for a decade, is used to assist mothers and their children to bond. Emerge has always put children and ...

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Since April 2017, Emerge has supported 91 outreach clients, 61 of whom were children under the age of 18, while the remaining 30 women were in their 30s. Data collected through the year, ending March 2018 shows: Of the 91 outreach clients,76 engaged in some form of art therapy program through Emerge.  62 of these outreach clients were children under the age of 18. The average length of support period was 2-14 weeks (31%), followed by 14 to 26 ...

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Dr Karen Morley joined the Emerge Board in 2009. She was approached by the then Chair, Connie Ridley, because of her interest and expertise in working with women experiencing family violence. Today she is Chair of the Board, a voluntary position she is proud of. “I began my working career as a psychologist working with women experiencing family violence. I worked with women individually and in groups, to help them to be safe, and to them to ...

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Emerge family therapists will work alongside researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to test the impact of a mother and child program being introduced later this year. The Safe Nest program is being adapted from the Peek-A-Boo Club™, and focuses on the needs of children and their mothers who have experienced family violence. The research is made possible thanks to the legacy of the ...

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A new Emerge refuge will be built following the exciting news that the organisation has been chosen by the Victorian Government to be among the few family violence refuges offering 24/7 support for women and children. Plans for the new refuge have been drawn up by the award-winning architectural practice Harrison and White. The new building will include state of the art one, two and three bedroom units with disability access. There will also be ...

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“Re-building trust in the mother-child relationship is essential to help repair lives,” according to Paula Westhead, Executive Officer of Emerge. “We have been working to support Sophie and her son, Robert, who arrived at Emerge with complex issues requiring support and care.” Before they came to an Emerge refuge Sophie and her son Robert experienced verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.  Robert witnessed much of the violence, ...

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The effect of family violence on individuals, families and communities can be long-lasting and profound.  It reaches deep in to the physical and emotional health of those affected, and survivors often need support for many years after the violence has ended.  At its most extreme, family violence ends in death and women are over represented in the statistics for intimate partner homicide.  Paula Westhead, Executive Officer of Emerge, said: ...

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More than a refuge

June 15, 2018

When a woman escapes family violence, she needs more than a house. That is the view of Jess, who heads up Emerge’s refuge and crisis accommodation service. “When women and children first arrive at the refuge, they are traumatised and often with nothing more than a suitcase of clothes, and a toy for any children with them. Our job is to help them emerge well from violence, provide them with the appropriate support to start again,” Jess ...

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