PUT YOURSELF IN HER SHOES FOR A MOMENT:
It’s Tuesday morning and you’re getting dressed for Court in the only suitable outfit you own, the one you wear to funerals.
Luckily for you, it isn’t your funeral but it very nearly could have been.
You see, today you face your perpetrator – that person who told you that you were the love of their life; the person who then broke not just your heart but your cheek bone, your ear drum and almost cost you your eyesight.
Just as you’re ready to walk out of your door, nervous and anxious, the phone rings. Your only available babysitter is on the other end telling you she’s on her way to the hospital with her toddler because he's been vomiting all night.
What are you going to do with your own toddlers aged two and four now? The dread rises in your throat. They’ve seen enough; they’ve heard enough. And, as you see it, you now only have two options:
1. You don’t attend Court
2. You take your children with you.
But there are major problems with both options. By not showing up to Court you frustrate the Court and put a further time delay on getting that intervention order or whatever else you were seeking assistance from the Court.
But there are even bigger problems with your second option: you and your children will probably have to spend hours and hours in an open, child-unfriendly environment within sight, sound and reach of your and their perpetrator. And of course, your little ones will be demanding your attention preventing you from focussing on what you need to do. And then, worse still... they will have to hear you recount and have them re-live the violent details yet again in open Court.
SO, WHAT CHOICE WOULD YOU MAKE?
If you’re like me, this story not only upsets you but also frustrates you. How can the system place women and children in this situation? Surely there must be a third and better option.
Thankfully, there is.
THANKFULLY, THANKS TO IMPACT, THERE IS A BETTER OPTION
Over this past year, if you were due to attend the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court on a Tuesday, ‘Family Violence Day’, there has been a better way.
In collaboration with Moorabbin Court, Victoria Police and Emerge, impact set up and facilitated a free, professionally managed child care service for families without access to other child care options to provide a safe and accessible service of support and care at this very stressful time for young parents.
Due to the success of the program, the Court has asked impact to provide the service for a second day a week.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO NOW?
We urgently need to replicate the program to other major Courts around Victoria - they are screaming out for it.
WHY DO WE NEED TO DO THIS?
For all the reasons outlined above but also because families are now under greater pressures than ever before. Police report a significant increase in Family Violence 'incidents' and Courts have already reported an increase of 30% in those seeking Intervention Orders.
Police experienced an increase in reported incidents once the COVID restrictions had been loosened and abused women are finding the space to be able to report in safety and privacy, and expect that to occur again once the current restrictions will loosen... whenever that may be.
The need has always been there, and has always been urgent, but the need is now even greater and even more urgent and will only become more so.
HOW DO WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
In order for impact to continue the current service into 2021 and beyond, to expand it to a second day at Moorabbin and to extend the service into as many other Victorian Courts as possible, as quickly as possible we need money... serious money ... and we need your help to achieve that.
The cost of two qualified childcare workers for one day a week for 48 weeks a year is $45000 all up including superannuation, worker's comp, etc etc.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here to help us achieve our aim. As impact is completely reliant on your generosity since we do not receive government funding, EVERY donation regardless of size helps us continue our critically important work.
Pledges to be paid over time can also be discussed. Please feel free to contact Kathy to discuss this in confidence.