Maree’s story – new beginnings free from violence


Maree was living with her husband and three children in a very isolated and remote community. Her marriage of 20 years was turbulent and her husband was prone to violent attacks. Tragically, the children had witnessed much of the abuse and despite trying to leave the relationship several times, Maree consistently returned to the family home because she simply had nowhere else to go. As is so often the case for victims of domestic abuse, Maree had been isolated from friends and family and didn’t know where and how to access support.

Finally, sensing the urgency of her situation, Maree travelled to Newcastle under the guise of visiting a friend and presented to Jenny’s Place for help. Her situation was clearly critical and she was offered accommodation in our families’ refuge. Maree settled into refuge with her two young daughters, however, her teenage son was a little too old to stay in the refuge and he remained with family in another town. Jenny’s Place recognised the additional stress associated with Maree’s separation from her son and worked tirelessly to secure suitable accommodation that would allow their family to be reunited.

As soon as a vacancy presented, Maree was offered one of Jenny’s Place transitional accommodation properties for an initial 12 month stay and she was, with great relief, reunited with her son! Now, with some certainty for their future, Maree’s two eldest children enrolled in the nearby high school so they could continue their education and make new friends. Maree was connected with a specialist trauma counselling service and she received compensation for the trauma she has endured. The children also received referrals for counselling and support.

During this time living in Jenny’s Place transitional accommodation, Maree worked with her caseworker to secure long term housing and was recently approved for a private rental property within driving distance to the children’s school. She participated in the Zahra Foundation’s Pathway to Empowerment program and through these workshops, Maree reclaimed her self-confidence and her motivation to embrace this new life. She is now feeling positive about the prospect of getting a job and building her financial independence. The life she once dreamed of is now being realised and Maree and her children are connected, safe and excited for their future.


“If it wasn’t for you guys [Jenny’s Place], we would all still be out there, where nobody cares, where people turn a blind eye. I think he would have killed me in the end.” Maree


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Names have been changed to protect client privacy.

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