There is a woman living not far from you who is trapped in a violent relationship. Living in constant terror, she faces a bleak Christmas. She worries about what will happen to her and her children if she leaves. She worries even more about what will happen if she stays.
We urgently need your help to support desperate women who flee with nothing. Just $100 will feed a mother and her child for a week.
All donations above $2 are tax-deductible.
Nina met Bryce when he moved to her hometown of Lviv in the Ukraine. Nina had been working as a designer and slowly making a name for herself, winning awards and building a clientele of boutiques wanting to stock her designs.
Bryce was an Australian engineer on a 12-month company exchange program, and he began romancing Nina with fancy dinners and expensive gifts. He told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met and swore that if she would return with him to Australia, he would do everything he could to make her dreams come true. As the year came to an end, Nina found herself packing to move across the world.
After she moved to Australia, Bryce began to change. He began to complain about the money he was spending to support Nina in Australia. He was rougher with her. He became angry quickly and called her names if she didn’t have dinner ready when he returned home, or if the washing wasn’t put away.
Bryce’s abuse turned physical. He would explode if the babies were crying and strike her in front of the children.
Nina stopped designing and took a job as an office cleaner instead, working long hours and late into the evenings. Bryce insisted Nina put her earnings into a shared account. He gave her an allowance for groceries and bus fares on a credit card, but if she met a friend for coffee, he would take away her card access. Embarrassed by Bryce’s actions, Nina grew isolated.
When Nina realised she was pregnant, she felt trapped instead of elated. Scared of what would happen when the baby was born, Nina worked long and hard throughout her pregnancy. Her back hurt and she was utterly exhausted, but every night, she had dinner on the table by 6pm to not upset Bryce.
Soon after the baby was born, Nina returned to work, putting her daughter into childcare so she could keep the peace at home.
More time passed, and Nina had a second child, another daughter. Bryce’s abuse turned physical. He would explode if the babies were crying and strike her in front of the children. One night he threw his dinner against the wall, spraying hot sauce on the children. He kicked Nina in the stomach as she tried to clean up.
At Nina’s post-natal check-up, a nurse noticed the swelling on Nina’s stomach and encouraged her to make a police report. An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order was put in place and she was referred to Moving Forward DFV Case Management Services. With specialised support, Nina was able to leave the abusive relationship and get her children to safety.
Moving Forward found emergency accommodation for Nina and the children. She had left with almost nothing, and needed help to get basic items for herself and the girls, like bedding, clothes, and formula for the baby. Moving Forward gave Nina vouchers to purchase groceries. Domestic violence counselling helped her understand that it wasn’t normal to live in a state of fear and constant vigilance, and that a crime had been committed against her.
Nina now has a safe and stable home for herself and the girls, who are now enrolled in preschool. Nina is taking on some design jobs at home, slowly working toward the happy future she had always imagined for herself.
*Moving Forward shared Nina’s story with us.
Domestic violence in Australia
Every year in Australia, around 16% of women will experience violence at the hands of their partner. The numbers have worsened during lockdown restrictions caused by the pandemic. In 2020, 56 women lost their lives to domestic violence – that’s one woman killed every week.
How is the Sisters of Charity Foundation helping?
Through its Community Grants Program the Sisters of Charity Foundation helps fund small charities across Australia that support women and children fleeing abuse.
In the past year the Foundation has provided $60,000 in grants to domestic violence organisations Hearts of Purple Ltd, the LIVEfree Project, The Haven: Nepean Women’s Shelter Inc, House to Grow Ltd, You Matter Ltd, and Moving Forward DFV Case Management Services Inc.
This Christmas we need your help to support women and children hurt by domestic violence. You can give them a fresh start – please, donate now.
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