More and more people are finding themselves in poverty.
That means more people struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
And the rising cost of living means people already in challenging situations are likely to face further hardship.
We know this pressure is also a factor in an alarming increase in family violence.
Sadly, one in four women experience family violence. And rising costs not only add to family pressures but make it harder for those experiencing violence to leave the family home.
Rebecca works at Uniting’s Marrageil Baggarrook program. It offers women escaping family violence a safe haven while they set about securing a long-term home.
“The rising cost of living at the moment is really affecting my clients,” said Rebecca.
“I’m noticing more and more women asking for food vouchers. And a lot of women find that difficult to do.
“When they come to us, they’re very scared and frightened, they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Alone and afraid
Nancy* recently experienced this first-hand.
Hailing from Iran in search of a better life, her journey in Australia had so far been difficult.
In her mid-30s, Nancy had bravely escaped a violent relationship. Hailing from Iran, she now found
herself alone with nowhere to go and no one to turn to.
“It was a hard time. I didn’t know where to go,” said Nancy.
Fortuitously, Nancy crossed paths with Uniting and she was immediately offered crisis accommodation.
From there, she moved to Uniting’s Marrageil Baggarrook program where she received long-term housing assistance, mental health support and, importantly, a sense of community and safety.
“I had tears,” said Nancy when she first saw her new home, “happy tears.”
“Uniting were the good people in my life. They helped me a lot.
“I’m not the same person now, not that sad or depressed person.”
Equally, Rebecca is thankful she could support Nancy.
“Meeting Nancy and watching her grow has been such an honour,” she said.
“It was a pretty terrible situation she was in. It makes me feel so happy I’ve contributed a little to her journey.”
Nancy’s story is only one of a multitude told to our Uniting services every day.
Everyone is different and so are their circumstances
Uniting understands that crisis affects different people in different ways. That’s why we offer a depth and breadth of services right around Victoria and Tasmania to help people in their time of need.
Together we can support people in crisis find a safe place to live, put food on their table, connect
with mental health support and feel hopeful for the future.
Help us to help others.
Together we can get through this crisis.
*This is a true story about real people. Some details such as names have been changed to respect the wishes of the people featured.