Family violence is one of the leading causes of poverty for women in Australia.
With a surge in family violence cases since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in demand for services to support families.
We have joined with nine other Uniting Network organisations across the country to run a program providing financial assistance and wrap-around support to people escaping family violence.
The Escaping Violence Payment provides up to $5000 for anyone leaving a violent partner.
Payments can be used to help find safe accommodation, buy essential items and connect with support services to help people get back on their feet.
Financial insecurity is one of the main barriers stopping women from leaving a violent partner.
Kerry* is a single mother who escaped family violence.
As the abuse escalated, Kerry took out an order of protection and fled to safety with her child.
“It was terrifying,” says Kerry.
“We left with the clothes on our back. I had no idea how we were going to survive.”
Our team were able to provide Kerry with support when she needed it most.
She was referred to a financial counsellor who provided information and advice regarding her debts, income and budgeting.
Our team helped Kerry access the basics like food and toiletries.
Kerry has now found somewhere to live and is working towards setting up a secure future for herself and her child.
“I don’t think I would have been able to do this without the help of Uniting,” says Kerry.
“It’s great to have financial support for rent and I have been able to save money to buy a secondhand washing machine and lounge set.”
*This is a true story about a real person. Some details such as names have been changed to respect the wishes of the person featured. The photo accompanying this story is for illustrative purposes only. It is not a photo of the person featured in this story.