You’re scared. You’re not sure who you can turn to. You feel alone and isolated.
The thoughts, feelings and questions swirling through your mind are overwhelming and you don’t know where to start.
You’re not alone. The Haven is here to support you every step of the way.
It is a safe, inclusive and warm environment, set up to empower and inspire women, like you to rebuild your life with dignity.
The Haven is home to a small network of woman who knows exactly what you’re going through. It is this collective of shared experiences and mutual support that assures you that you are strong, smart, and capable and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
"Abuse thrives only in silence.
You have the power to end domestic violence simply by shining a spotlight on it. Show abuse the light of day by talking about it. Together we can make our beds, our dinner tables and our families the safe and peaceful oasis they should be.” Leslie Morgan Steiner
How we help.
The Haven is run by a professional Shelter Manager, alongside trained Case Workers and supported by community volunteers. During your time in our home, we will provide support with counselling, finances, employment, education, health care, legal advice, and stable accommodation. We will also help you to access day care or school for your children if required.
Our aim is to work collaboratively with you to get your confidence and self-worth back so you can go out into the world as the strong and independent woman you have always been.
If you require domestic violence crisis accommodation or support please contact the Shelter staff at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this email address is only manned during office hours 5 days a week). If you require immediate assistance call Police or Ambulance on 000 or
Link2Home on 1800 152 152. If you require general domestic violence support please contact the DV Line on 1800 656 463.
For for information about what it will be like to stay at The Haven read our FAQ's.
We’re in this together and will always have your back.
STORIES TO INSPIRE
These stories are those of women who have stayed at a Women’s Community Shelter. These women could be any of us. Statistically speaking - financial status, education, age or background, don't prevent you from being abused. 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime.
* denotes that names have been changed to protect identities
Juliet* was a successful accountant who lived in a 4 bedroom house on Sydney’s Northern beaches. She married Will* when they were both 24 and had 2 children – a girl and a boy. Everyone thought their life was perfect. But Will was a different personality behind closed doors, and had psychologically and financially controlled Juliet for years. Her salary was paid into a ‘joint account’ to which only Will had access, she wasn’t allowed to see her friends or family without him there and if she complained about any aspect of their relationship, he threatened to divorce her and seek full custody of the children.
People at work thought that Juliet was a snob, or dull – as she never went out for drinks or lunches with them, so she had no really close work friends in whom she could confide. “I was terrified of losing my children, but I was also ashamed that I had let him treat me like this. I felt that an educated woman like me should know better and shouldn’t have let this happen.”
“I felt that I couldn’t confide in anyone, I had no close colleagues and I was isolated from my old friends. And Will was always there… I was never alone with anyone but him.”
In the end, Will left her for another woman and Juliet discovered that he had taken out a second mortgage on the property, and they owed hundreds of thousands of dollars on it, as well as other bills. She had a good job, but no savings and nowhere to live. She couldn’t even pay for childcare after Will left.
When she came to the WCS shelter, Juliet needed help to re-build her life – whilst keeping her job. She had to get her own bank account, find somewhere to live, and care for her children…but she feared losing her job.
With our help, she got back on her feet and was able to learn to manage her own finances. The legal support we connected her to helped her get back some of her salary, and cleared her of the debt that Will had racked up.
Helen* was 72 years old. She should have been enjoying her retirement and looking after her grandchildren, but instead she ended up at the WCS Manly shelter having fled a violent situation at home. Helen had a great life with her husband Geoff*, a nice home and holidays several times a year to Thailand, India and Europe. Then Geoff died and her son James* moved into the house, to ‘help her out’, he said. James talked his mother into signing everything into his name. But James then sold the house and when Helen – confused – asked her son what was happening, he grew aggressive and threatening. He then moved her into a small unit, miles away from where her friends lived, took her car, and sold it. She was so embarrassed that her own son had done this to her, she pretended it was all her idea.
Eventually, lonely and desperate, she told a friend on e-mail that she was lonely and wanted to move back to her old neighbourhood, but James had the password to her email, and drove to her apartment and threw her out on the street.
She contacted the WCS Manly shelter and we were able to offer her crisis accommodation. We helped her apply for the pension and find a place to live in a retirement village at a reduced rate, and we supported her to re-connect with her friends.
Helen didn’t want to go to the police about James… she said, “He’s my son at the end of the day… I’m heartbroken but I don’t want to get him into trouble.”
Maria* was a shelter resident with a young child who left significant domestic violence. She came to our Sanctuary shelter with nothing. Her husband used to lock her in the house. During her stay with us she had been working hard towards the outcomes she had set for herself and was progressing well. She’d been living in Australia on a student visa and was permitted to work 20 hours per week.
She was extremely keen to find paid employment and applied for a position with a wonderful local restaurant. As part of her ongoing support, shelter staff coached her on interview skills the week before the job interview and two days later she discovered she'd got the job. She has now successfully re-established herself back into her local community.