Face abuse or homelessness?

For many families, like Lauren’s, this is the choice they face. You can help break the cycle.

Each year we work with over 20,000 people to help them to be safer and more supported. We are asking you to help us to continue to provide our life-changing services.

Your donation will help:

  • Families who are struggling to obtain everyday essentials and are on the brink of homelessness.
  • Women and children who are trapped by financial and other chronic pressures in dreadfully neglectful, abusive and violent relationships.
  • People living with disabilities who are more isolated and vulnerable.

Act now to help families like Lauren’s. Your generosity can help us support hundreds of children and families experiencing family violence or related trauma.

Lauren’s story

Desperately trying to protect her daughter, mum Lauren* was on the brink of homelessness after fleeing family violence. She wanted to raise her daughter, Poppy age 2, in a safe environment and turned to us for support.

“The violent home situation was just too unhealthy for my daughter, I needed to get her out,” says Lauren.

Her partner hadn’t allowed her to work, meaning her only source of income was welfare payments. “I was relying on food handouts just to feed my daughter,” she says.

To make matters worse Lauren was also supporting her critically ill mother who was in palliative care and was sleeping in hospital wards.

“I had no energy left to think about what I needed to do. I was just surviving, it was really the most challenging time of my life,” says Lauren.

Feeling isolated and with no family to support her, Lauren turned to Windermere.

 

Windermere worked closely with Lauren to develop a safety plan for herself and Poppy and arranged for Lauren to attend a parenting support class, a healthy relationship support group and counselling for past trauma.

With a goal of financial independence, Windermere helped Lauren apply for a business grant** and supported her to find much safer and more appropriate accommodation.

As Lauren worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, her financial situation improved and she was no longer threatened with homelessness.

“My worker was my constant support. She was always there for me and she taught me to believe in myself,” says Lauren.

Today, thanks to her hard work, Lauren has become a successful businesswoman and she and her daughter Poppy are happily and safely settled in a new house.

*names changed to protect identity.
** Grants are considered on a case by case basis

Hear from some of the people we've helped

(Through Kids on Track) I learnt more about how drugs and alcohol affect our bodies. I don't want to end up the same way as Dad so I can now care for my body and make better decisions than what he did. 

Grade 6 Student, Program Participant - Cranbourne

Resilience for Life has been nothing short of wonderful for me, and enormously empowering. I am feeling so much more optimistic and confident in myself, my driving and taking care of my husband.

Prue, Program Participant - Melbourne

My (Windermere) counsellor has been one of the most important supports I have had throughout this whole process. She is amazing. I now see things from a completely different perspective.

I am on the lookout now too - next time I am in a relationship, I will be able to recognise the signs of domestic violence and I won’t let myself get stuck in that sort of position again.”

Witness, Royal Commission into Family Violence - Melbourne