When Marnie Went has a good day at work, she saves a woman and her children from a life of domestic violence and abuse.
As a women’s refuge coordinator with Ozcare, Marnie is part of a team who work in five confidential locations around Queensland to provide emergency housing, and most importantly support, to women who have decided to flee from abusive relationships.
They help people like Rebecca* work through the myriad of emotions and provide tools to make critical decisions about the next stage of their life.
“I have a long journey ahead of me but with the programs, workshops, and one-on-one time with Marnie and my support worker, I feel there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Rebecca said.
“Marnie has helped me realise that the way my ex-partner treated me was not okay and was not normal. She made me feel accepted and understood.
“For the first time I have goals and I can see that I can achieve them and that was something that I didn’t ever see before.
Marnie says that this healing process, which is often the most painful part of the journey, is also the most beneficial.
“We focus on giving women the strategies and tools to start the healing process, but it’s up to them whether they are ready to make that leap into what can be a confronting, intense program,” Marnie said.
“It is a great day for me when I start to hear ‘change talk’ and I can see that they are on their way to creating a better life for themselves and their children.”
This International Women’s Day we want to help other women escape from a life of domestic violence and highlight the services that are available to other Queensland women who are suffering from abuse.
Rebecca agrees: “I know now that no woman deserves to be treated badly and that there is a better life. If I knew that there was this type of support offered I think it would have helped me to leave a long time ago.”
If you’re looking for assistance or advice about domestic or family violence, call DV Connect on 1800 811 811.
* Name changed for confidentiality
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