Emerge Stories

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Emerge Stories

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

From the Executive Officer

December 11, 2018

As we head into the festive season, I am constantly reminded of the extraordinary generosity shown by the community to the women and children who we support. Little and large gestures make a very real difference to people who are traumatised having fled violence and find themselves in unchartered territory. A few examples of kindness spring to my mind: recently the City of Kingston confirmed that rather than staff giving gifts to each other in a ...

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The past year has been significant for Emerge on many fronts from its internationally renowned multi-layered arts therapy program through to its expanding research program, and the establishment of a volunteers’ program. The achievements, showcased in the organisation’s 2018 Impact Review, highlight how Emerge continues to embrace new ideas and consolidate its existing programs to meet the increasing demand for its services. Over the past ...

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Imagine having fled violence with only a bag on your pack, three hungry children by your side and no money to buy food? That is the immediate reality for many families coming into Emerge’s refuge and crisis housing. Thanks to the efforts of local churches and individuals, however, empty tummies are soon filled with warming, nutritious meals, and well-stocked pantry packs are handed out to each woman when she arrives and leaves. The pack is ...

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Building is now underway on the new Emerge refuge with an anticipated completion date of 14 August 2019. The new high-risk secure refuge will offer assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is one of the few 24/7 family violence safe houses in Victoria. Award-winning architectural practice Harrison and White have designed the multi-purpose refuge to provide personal and communal space to allow women and children to recover from the ...

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Halila has a secret that few people would guess. The 24-year-old Somali woman lives in a private rental home with her two children, free from the threat of violence. Her life has changed around in the space of three years, thanks to Emerge’s family violence services. Then she knew one emotion: fear. She had a deep, dark fear of being hurt, her almost two-year-old son being hurt and her seven-month pregnancy abruptly ending because of her ...

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Lyn White understands the reality of financial abuse. She sees it all the time as the financial counsellor at Emerge where she regularly meets with women being supported in the housing and outreach programs. Lyn is one of many financial counsellors working with women who are experiencing, or who have fled, family violence in Victoria. They are highly skilled, qualified, paralegal professionals who provide assistance, advocacy and information to ...

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When six-year-old Toby* was given a backpack filled with books, toys, pyjamas and a teddy bear, the look on his face was priceless. It was as though all his Christmases had come at once, according to Jessica, Emerge’s Manager of Integrated Family Services. Toby was presented with a buddy bag, courtesy of the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation, on the day he arrived at Emerge’s refuge. His immediate action was to tip it out on the floor and ...

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How to help someone you know

November 5, 2018

One in three Australian women experience family violence.  The signs can remain well hidden but offering support to a friend or colleague can make all the difference. Sometimes there are clear signs of abuse, but often the signs are subtle, beginning with a feeling that ‘something is wrong’. Controlling behaviour, jealousy and humiliation are often signs of family violence, as Kylie –  who was recently supported by Emerge – ...

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From the Executive Officer

October 9, 2018

In just over six weeks, Victorians will be once again voting in the state election. Here at Emerge, we are calling on all parties to commit to funding the many recommendations that emerged from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, to have policies that enable everyone to have a secure, affordable and safe home, and to fund those policies effectively; to fund homelessness prevention services like Emerge, and to expand free legal services ...

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Jessica Woller is the Manager of Integrated Family Services at Emerge. She looks after the Arts Therapy and the Family Violence Case Management teams at Emerge. We talked to her about the rewards and demands of working in a refuge. “Working in refuge is working with women in crisis, which means we are starting from scratch in every sense. One aspect that can be unexpected is that we are often helping women who may be grieving for the loss of a ...

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