“I’m ready to tackle anything now”’

Leaving a violent relationship is never easy and it can have an ongoing impact on the lives of all those involved. Jenny had left her partner and, with her five-year-old son, was living with her parents when she was linked up with the Intereach Family Support Service.

Jenny was concerned about her son’s mental wellbeing and development, noticing he was showing signs of some aggressive behaviour. She worried about the impact that witnessing family violence may have had on him and didn’t really know how to help him. Her parents were concerned about Jenny’s wellbeing and could see her struggling with the difficulties of maintaining her own personal safety and the challenges of court attendance and applying for custody.

The first step for Jenny was to talk through her concerns with a family worker, who worked with her to identify priorities. She was linked up with a local free community legal service and was supported to apply for an intervention order. The Intereach Early Childhood Intervention Service worked with her son to assess his social, emotional and cognitive development and both Jenny and her son accessed counselling services to help with their emotional resilience.

For Jenny, the difference this has made to her self-confidence and her son’s wellbeing is profound. “I feel so much more confident. Stronger. I’m ready to tackle anything now.”

Jenny and her son are now living independently in their own rental property and Jenny has full guardianship. Her son is attending school regularly and Jenny says, “I know if I need help, it is out there in the community. I am not alone.”