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Growing up in Murwillumbah and finding a soul mate at a young age was always a dream of Julies*. She imagined her ‘married life’ filled with love and happy memories, just like everyone deserves. However, life turned out to be completely different from how she envisioned it.

In the early stages of her relationship, Julie* was subject to verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. This behaviour has continued 20 years down the track in their marriage today, in 2023. Her husband used multiple controlling tactics to stop her from having any financial freedom and eventually stopped giving her access to their bank accounts entirely.

Julie experienced not only mistreatment from her husband but also began to fear her teenage son, who started showing aggressive behaviour towards her. There were countless times when the abuse was so severe Julie was forced to take her daughter and find somewhere else safe. Julie had a long-lasting friend she trusted and could stay with whenever she felt scared; however, there was so much uncertainty, not knowing long-term where to go with her daughter and how to change her circumstances for good.

Whenever Julie left her home, she felt manipulated by how sorry her partner was and how she couldn’t leave with their daughter The caring mother had to deal with intense emotions of guilt and would return home every single time. Until one moment changed her life utterly.

Last year, Julie experienced a life-threatening injury from the abuse, and fled home with her teenage daughter. She decided to call Momentum Collective’s domestic and family violence hotline number.

Immediately, Momentum’s Case Worker Manager, Lorinda, organised an emergency crisis accommodation for the pair. Lorinda sat down with Julie in the initial meeting to discuss her options to help her move forward. Julie was eligible for the New South Wales Victims Services Recognition Payment to assist with rent, furniture appliances and whatever action the pair required to achieve their goals. Julie* was also able to access the Escaping Violence Payment, which is up to $5000 in cash brokerage which supports women fleeing DV with assistance with their rent up to three years.

“It’s not uncommon for our clients to come to a meeting and not know what supports they can access. When you tell them what’s possible and see their security goals come to fruition, they feel very emotional,” says Lorinda.

“Of course, every situation is unique, but for Julie*, I can say her outcome has been a life-changing one. From the moment we had our first meeting, she has been proactive with signing every document and application needed to receive her financial support, and the minute she could apply for a private rental, she did.”

Julie* and her daughter have finally just moved into their long-term accommodation. One of her goals was to have 24/7 surveillance cameras to ensure her safety and wellbeing, which she has achieved. Julie has finally reached a feeling of ease and peace and has a safe and suitable home to heal.

If you are experiencing or at risk of Domestic Family Violence, call Momentum’s 24/7 hotline on 1800 387 867.

Julies* name has been changed to protect her identity