Brooke is a 25-year-old woman with three children, two of whom are in her care.
A previous client of Refuge Victoria, Brooke successfully left the service when she moved into private rental with a full intervention order (IVO) in place, to protect her and the children. Unfortunately, her former partner repeatedly breached the IVO and was stalking and harassing Brooke and her children. The private rental became unsafe leading Brooke to re-engage with Safe Steps. Safe Steps then referred Brooke and her children to Refuge Victoria.
Brooke arrived at the refuge and was familiar with some of the staff onsite. Brooke felt ashamed and embarrassed to be back in refuge, feeling she had failed herself and her children. Staff instantly assured Brooke that she had not failed and had made the right decision to access support.
Brooke was supported to report the repeated breaches of the IVO with police and to write a detailed statement outlining the nature and frequency of the abuse. Brooke’s IVO was due to expire so staff assisted her to access legal support to apply for an extension. The application was successful.
One of Brooke’s main goals was to reconnect with her daughter who was currently staying with her paternal grandparents. Staff supported Brooke to arrange supervised contact visits, with the overall long-term goal being permanent reunification.
Staff advocated with Brooke’s real estate agent to allow her to end her lease without penalty and to seek other rental opportunities in safe areas. This advocacy was successful, and Brooke was offered another private rental. Staff were still concerned about Brooke’s safety so arranged to have the property risk assessed. The assessment resulted in several upgrades to security features including security camera installation, sensor lights and upgraded door and window locks.
Brooke felt safe to move into the private rental with her children. We assisted Brooke’s children to enroll in a local school and Brooke continues to work towards reunification with her eldest daughter. Brooke contacted Refuge Victoria after a month to report that she and children were doing really well and that there had been no contact from her former partner.