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News & Events
From the Executive Officer
August 13, 2021
My job involves listening, deep listening. It is often exhausting and heart breaking but more usually inspiring and reminds me why I chose to work for Emerge surrounded by staff who are deeply committed to supporting women and their children who have fled violence.
There are many roadblocks that women face when they report and escape violence. What we have found, however, that someone willing to listen and support helps them feel more confident.
When we listen to their stories, we learn that talking with their GPs are often the trigger for helping them leave safely. It is rare that a woman goes to the police, either because of a mistrust of authority or fear of consequences.
When they arrive at Emerge’s refuge, they are wrung out, exhausted with worry and suspicious of everyone. Fearful, scared and anxious.
Our role is to be there. To provide accurate advice, practical support and a safe, secure place until they are ready for their next step in their journey.
One of the most important aspects of our work is to help them with safety planning. We are one of the few organisations that prepares an individual safety plan for children who are in our refuge, crisis accommodations and living in the community.
Other crucial steps are supporting women to change addresses, start legal proceedings, deal with schools, deal with Centrelink, sort out medical and financial issues.
Effectively what we do is to walk in their shoes with them.
In this newsletter, you will hear from Lara, our Volunteers’ Coordinator, about her work matching skills to women’s needs. Our volunteers program is an essential service not only for the women we support but also for our staff.
Every volunteer who works alongside a woman offering a listening ear, chatting in English, helping with bills and filling in rental forms, sitting in the passenger seat while they clock up their hours is an absolute champion.
Other champions are our supporters who, in this end of year tax appeal, have donated an extraordinary amount of money to enable us to buy a much-needed vehicle to help us in transport families to their new homes, pick up deliveries and much more. Thanking you for listening to what we needed and your generous actions.
I have another urgent request of you all: we need you all to let the Australian government know the critical need for many more homes for women and children who are in violent relationships.
There is immense pressure on women’s refuges and a lack of social housing across Australia. This results in many women spending longer in our refuge, which means others cannot access the support and accommodation provide and instead children spend months moving between motels, couch surfing with family and friends, or living in cars.
Please sign the petition calling on the Federal Government to act now. Click here.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for your generosity.
Keep your windows open, your masks on, and maintain a safe distance from others.