McAuley Care (formerly Mercy Care) is the first safe house in Victoria open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis accommodation to women and their children who are escaping family violence. We are also the only safe house to take in girls and boys up until the age of 17 who are accompanied by their mother or female guardian.
In a safe and welcoming environment, women and their children are provided with emotional support as well as practical assistance with legal, medical and financial matters to help women assess their next steps and feel free and safe to make choices. Families usually stay for an average of four nights and during this time, they are also provided with meals, clothing and toiletries.
Within the safe house, we also operate a unique Children's Program. This program addresses the traumatic effect family violence has on a mother and her child, and helps children to process their experiences and express their feelings through art activities, play and conversation. Mothers also learn to recognise and acknowledge their children's emotions, and reconnect with them through play.
McAuley Community Services for Women also operates a refuge program as an extension of McAuley Care. These refuges enable us to offer longer-term accommodation and support to 30 families each year.