Domestic violence is an ever present issue in our community. Covid, unemployment and financial strains exacerbate relationship conflict and some women will need a new and safe place to live. Women leaving abusive relationships often do so with little or nothing. They have to start again and struggle with the financial, practical and emotional challenges.
Northern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service offers interim emergency accommodation including a specific program for single women. Eventually these women will need to find longer term accommodation and will need to equip their homes.
NADVS and Rotary Mawson Lakes are partnering to pilot an assistance program specifically for individuals who need a helping hand to set up their new homes. Rotary will purchase kitchen utensils and crockery for distribution by NADVS.
The program will be evaluated in mid 2021.
We have had a slow start because of the slow movement of women out of emergency accommodation but there has been some lovely feedback.
One of the Kitchen Packs went today and the client was thrilled!! She has been working really hard to turn her life around and has obtained housing and a job, and the receiving of the pack and the encouraging note from Dale made her day. She is stepping toward her new beginning with a more optimistic outlook, she feels less isolated and alone, that there are people who notice and care.
C – has had a history of domestic violence and homelessness, and found it difficult to escape the cycle. While she was in crisis accommodation her previous property was broken into and her few belongings stolen. She was quite stressed as to what to prioritise getting for her pending move into her new property. She was most grateful for the Kitchen Starter Kit. It took several items off her list and allowed her to focus on getting other essentials. She mentioned the warn message on the card, lifted her spirits.
S – In addition to being a victim of DV, she has mental health issues and often struggles with daily tasks so the thought of having to shop for everything was causing her to feel overwhelmed by the whole process of moving to more permanent accommodation. She was becoming hesitant about uprooting herself from the crisis accommodation and moving. The gift of the kitchen starter kit gave her that bit of added support to keep her motivation up to make the move. The message on the card aided her to maintain her resolve, that yes she does deserve to have a home of her own.
General Comment from DV worker:
Many people think of the immediate impacts like physical violence and financial abuse when talking about DV survivors but few are aware of the long term mental toll and the low self-esteem many traumatised women have to overcome. For them, leaving the supported environment of crisis accommodation is another often scary hurdle, so support of something like the New Beginnings Pack and the messages of support (not from care workers) can be just the motivation needed to transition to more independent living.
During 2020-2021 Women's Safety Services (NADVS) Community Accommodation Project provided shelter for 80 women and 40 children. The Rotary project provided 30 linen packs and 25 home starter packs which provided direct practical support to the women as they sought to stabilise their lives.
Mawson Lakes Rotary will continue to provide home starter packs for women who are part of the Community Accommodation project during 2021-2022. Greater flexibility will be built into what we supply given the multicultural nature of program residents and the significant number of children passing through.
We will be fundraising and attracting sponsorship during this year to provide a reliable financial base for the project and to enable consideration of additional target groups and potential additional assistance to CAP. A Fun Run Fund Raiser is planned for 31/10/2021 to coincide with Halloween. Watch out for it on Facebook.
Progress Report September 2021
We are pleased to announce that we are receiving a Rotary District 9510 Grant again this year to support our work with clients of Women's Safety Services northern in Adelaide.