Toby and his mum reconnect at McAuley Care

Toby's* mum took his hand and covered his palm with blue paint.

"The astonished look on Toby’s face was priceless," Rebecca*, Toby's mum, said.

The safe, supportive environment of the McAuley Care safe house was a far cry from the physical and verbal abuse that Toby witnessed at home.

Rebecca had been abused by her husband for 11 years. He threatened to kill her if she left.

"I didn't know where I would go, or how I would survive, so I stayed," Rebecca explained.

Toby lived in fear of upsetting his father. Most seven year olds play with their toys without fear of making a mess. But Toby's dad hated mess.

While Rebecca was focussing on getting through each day, distance grew between her and Toby.

"I forgot to take him to soccer one day and he didn't understand why his friends couldn't come over and play," Rebecca recalled.

"I lost sight of Toby's childhood."

Toby is just one of 200 children McAuley Care supports each year through our Children's Program.

The Children's Program provides a safe place for children to talk about their feelings. It helps restore the bond between mothers and their children through play and, most importantly, it teaches mothers about the emotional impacts family violence has had on their children.

After children leave McAuley Care, we continue to look after their educational, social and therapeutic needs through our outreach program, McAuley Pathways.

One in four children in Australia will witness family violence in their lifetime 

Please donate today and help children affected by family violence have safer, brighter futures.

*Names have been changed