Marisha, our Outreach worker, had seen Simone several times at the local shopping. She noticed some signs of abuse and decided to approach her. Marisha soon learned that 19-year-old Simone was mother to a young baby and was struggling financially, to the extent she was finding it difficult to feed herself and her baby. One of the first things that Marisha did was buy Simone formula for her baby.
"Simone's situation was both confronting for her
Just imagine what it must be like for someone like Simone, who feels as though she cannot escape her situation. Many young people need the support and guidance of outreach workers like Marisha, to help them to choose a better future.
With Marisha's ongoing support and guidance, Simone summoned the courage to leave her partner. Marisha reconnected her with her family who intervened and offered her and her baby a safe place to stay. Marisha has continued to provide support and assistance to the whole family.
"I just want to help everyone. The way that I work, if there is a need to work with the family, then I work collaboratively with the whole family. You want to hold on to any support that the family can provide as family breakdown happens all the time. At the end of the day, family is really important to our young people. I might be the link that helps keep the family together." Marisha, Outreach Worker.
Marisha spent a significant amount of time with Simone, hours at a time, just talking through the problems and challenges that Simone had faced. They discussed the impact that the violence had upon herself and her daughter.
Today, Simone has a much brighter outlook. With Marisha's help, Simone is now attending weekly counselling, she has access to childcare, is paying off her debts and has just bought a car. Simone has also been attending a fortnightly job network, has started working at Open Family Australia's social enterprise and wants to eventually study.
"Simone went through a time when she wasn't sure she could leave her partner. With such low self-esteem, it was really difficult for her. Luckily, that has all changed in the past few months. Simone is really working hard to get through all of her trauma. There has been a massive transformation," says Marisha.
If Marisha had not made the first approach that day in the shopping centre, Simone might still be suffering from physical abuse and the future of her baby may be vastly different. Simone's situation could still well be under the radar of services that might help her.
Simone now feels that her future has possibilities and most importantly both Simone and her daughter are in a safe place.
*Names changed to protect client privacy.