McAuley Care welcomes traumatised women and children 24/7

Amanda* and her two children arrived at McAuley Care at one o’clock in the morning. Like many families, they had escaped a violent home with absolutely nothing.

Amanda had suffered abuse from her husband for more than eight years. It started with verbal abuse, but then he began hitting her. Throughout their relationship, her husband had also controlled their finances, forcing Amanda to justify every purchase she made, including groceries.

“I was terrified. He was becoming more and more violent. He would explode in a fit of rage if one of the boys left their toys lying around or if dinner wasn’t cooked on time,” Amanda said.

“I knew I had to leave to protect my children, but I had no idea where I would go.”

One night when her husband was at the football, Amanda woke the boys, carried them out to the car and fled.

“I started to drive but realised I couldn’t go to my parents’ house or my best friend’s place. They were the first places he would look for us.”

Amanda drove around, and eventually she went to a police station.

“The police were so kind and within a couple of hours we were being welcomed by the wonderful staff at the McAuley Care safe house.”

“We were given pyjamas, toiletries and clothes – the boys even got new toys. After I put them to bed, I sat in the lounge with one of the staff, had a cup of tea and cried my heart out.”

“I will never forget the support I received. It had been such a long time since anyone had shown me that amount of compassion.”

While at the safe house, Amanda heard about the McAuley Works employment program. With unwavering support from our employment workers, she was able to regain her confidence and find a new job.

“Having my own income was the best path towards a new life for us,” Amanda said.

Amanda now works as a sales assistant, and she rents an apartment that McAuley helped her find.

“We feel safe and settled at last. I can’t thank McAuley enough for making this huge step so much easier for us.”

*Name has been changed