Vinnies WA has launched its Annual Winter Appeal, urging the community to support women and children escaping family and domestic violence.
While Vinnies in Western Australia is not a primary provider of family and domestic violence services, its Emergency Assistance and Support Program provides victims with practical support during times of crisis.
How Vinnies helps:
• emergency accommodation – such as a motel for a night when crisis accommodation is not available
• clothing, toiletries, blankets and toys – because many women and children are forced to escape with only the clothing on their back
• emotional support – a listening ear during the more vulnerable moments, to reduce the risk of women going back to an abusive partner
• food and financial help with bills – to provide a starting point for a single parent trying to make ends meet in a new, safe home
• furniture and white goods – because furnishing a home is an enormous expense.
“One night of safety can stop the violence long enough for women to start their path to recovery. Often, women will return to an abusive situation before they are able to leave for good,” said Vinnies WA President Gladys Demissie.
“This cycle is often caused by a lack of financial independence. The desire to raise children with a roof over their head, and food on the table, sees too many women return to their abusive partners if they feel they simply cannot provide for their families on their own.
“Every gift you give gives a woman the chance to start again,” Ms Demissie added.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness amongst women and children. If women escaping domestic violence cannot find crisis accommodation, they often find themselves homeless, living in their car, on a friend’s couch or, worse, on the streets.
Vinnies is Western Australia’s largest provider of emergency assistance and support. Every year, Vinnies assists more than 55,000 West Australians by providing emergency relief such as food, furniture and clothing, as well as help with bills and rent.
Vinnies also runs a range of specialised services and programs in the areas of housing and homelessness, mental health, migrants and refugees, youth services and financial counselling.
To donate and help make a positive difference in these people’s lives, visit www.vinnieswa.org.au or call 13 18 12.