When Amelia first came to Juno last year, she had experienced high levels of physical violence perpetrated by her ex-partner/father of her child. To stay safe, Amelia, like so many other women, was forced to leave her home and enter the homelessness system.
Unfortunately, experiences with violence and navigating the homelessness system were not new to Amelia. She had been in and out of homelessness for years and had experienced family violence at the hands of family members throughout her childhood and her adolescence.
Violence was commonplace in Amelia’s life. Exposure to so much harm, and the complex trauma that comes with it, had a significant impact on Amelia’s mental health and created many barriers that she then had to overcome, showing great strength and resilience.
Amelia was faced with finding a way to survive violence, with minimal income and no social supports. A common tactic of family violence perpetrators is to isolate victim survivors from their networks, which is further exacerbated by experiences of homelessness. A focus of our work at Juno is thus to reconnect our clients to community.
Last year, the violence got so bad that Amelia feared for hers and her son’s life and fled the relationship she was in. Amelia came to Juno and together with one of our case managers, she began forging a path to recovery.
Over her time with Juno, Amelia’s resilience and strength continued to teach and inspire us. It was not easy, but she worked hard to regain her independence. We learnt not to give up hope but to keep persisting in the face of what were extremely challenging circumstances. Each of our clients’ pace is different, so we learnt to be more flexible in achieving her goals. No matter how hard it was, we were reminded of the importance of showing up and providing the best possible support. – Amelia’s Case Manager at Juno
A lot of the women that arrive at Juno’s doors are seeking safety, protection from a perpetrator, and in the longer-term, a place they can call home that is safe, affordable and permanent, and free from further threats of violence. The first thing we did for Amelia and her son was to secure temporary accommodation so that she could take the first step to reclaiming her life. Later, we secured longer-term accommodation for her so that she and her son could settle into a new community and start to put down roots.
Helping Amelia to recover from the impacts of trauma, homelessness and violence, as well as substance use as a form of coping, took time but at Juno we are committed to working with women like Amelia, whose journeys are complex and who have faced incredible adversity. We supported Amelia at her own pace to take control and gradually build up the confidence to live independently.
We were able to secure a safe, permanent and affordable home for Amelia and her son. We were also able to provide Amelia with access to a Family Violence Flexible Support Package – financial assistance tailored to Amelia’s needs that assisted her to stabilise her safety, establish her home and support her recovery from trauma. The funding helped her relocate to safe accommodation, purchase furniture and help her son re-establish his education at a local school.
Although Amelia’s path to independence was a long one, and by no means linear, she is finally living safely and free from violence for one of the first times in her life. She currently resides in safe and permanent accommodation in the community and her son is attending a local school that caters to his individual needs.