Skip to content

Tarni’s Story

Tarni is a 43-year-old Aboriginal woman who fled a 10-year family violence relationship whilst she was living in regional Victoria.

Tarni made it to metropolitan Melbourne and called Safe Steps as she was fearful of being followed. Safe Steps placed Tarni in a motel and then referred her to Refuge Victoria. Tarni was accepted into one of our refuges and staff arranged to bring her in as soon as possible, to avoid her spending another night in a motel alone.

Tarni arrived at refuge exhausted from her week of transience. Our staff welcomed Tarni and gave her some space to rest before they completed the intake process.  Our staff developed a Cultural Plan with Tarni as she identified fear of being isolated from her mob. Staff referred Tarni to a local Specialist Aboriginal service to assist with cultural support, offer staff secondary consultation as well as to explore safe housing options. With the help of this service, Refuge Victoria staff worked alongside Tarni to develop safe ways for her to remain connected to country and her mob back home.

Whilst Tarni was in the family violence relationship, she was under complete control of the partner. Tarni had very little knowledge of how to live independently. Refuge Victoria staff assisted Tarni to gain control of her own finances and manage her accounts. Tarni slowly developed the confidence to travel around the local area independently and attend services on her own.

Tarni’s long term goal is to return home when it was safe to do so. Staff successfully referred Tarni to medium-term accommodation whilst she accessed legal support to plan a safe return home. Refuge Victoria staff remained involved with Tarni to ensure her support needs continue to be met. Tarni went onto find casual employment and accessed medical support to address several long-term health issues. Tarni is still actively working with Refuge Victoria to achieve her long-term goals.