04 Aug What we do to help | The Salvation Army
Safer in the Home program manager Mariese Davey says the program ‘is for women who have experienced Family and Domestic Violence, which is such a broad range of people and circumstances. The money goes to projects that enable them to stay in their homes and feel safer. We are probably in contact with up to 10 women each day.’
‘I have been in an “on again, off again” relationship for approximately six years; in the last three months my life has unfortunately spiralled out of control…there was incredible help from strangers and kindness shown to myself… I have never had to have charity before in my life. I have always thought of myself as a hard working single mother, but I want to thank Crossroads Salvation Army from the bottom of my heart.’ – Denise (not her real name)
Safer in the Home program manager Mariese Davey says the Safer in the Home program ‘is for women who have experienced Family and Domestic Violence, which really encompasses such a broad range of people and circumstances’.
The program is designed to provide basic safety upgrades and security measures to support women and accompanying children who are experiencing FDV, thus enabling them to remain safely in their homes.
‘We are probably in contact with up to 10 women each day, requesting our assistance,’ says Mariese.
‘The assistance rendered starts with comprehensive onsite assessments of the women’s home security and personal safety. Security upgrades are then recommended, which could include new gates/locks, window locks, security doors, sensor lights, lopping tree branches or felling trees for visibility, strengthening and locking manholes or exterior access chutes, mailbox locks, locks to power and gas meters/fuseboxes, etc.
‘There are also high tech responses, debugging phones and removing tracking surveillance software to phones and computers/laptops/ipads, and scanning for cameras and listening devices.
‘The client feedback tells us they are being heard, and their concerns, about their safety and the safety of their children, are being understood. They feel so much better.’
Simply put, the Safer in the Home program restores peace of mind and gives a level of safety that would otherwise be missing to hundreds of women and children.
Robyn Roberts, the general manager of the Salvos’ Crossroads network that delivers the Safer in the Home program, tells e-connect that ‘while some state jurisdictions have slightly different definitions about “low risk”, the Safer in the Home program considers referrals to the program on a case by case basis. We always try to find a way to provide assistance through the program, rather than put up barriers for access.
‘The simplicity of the model we use to deliver safer in the Home works, and we can say confidently that, for the vast majority of women, the program has prevented further harassment and stalking by perpetrators of FDV.’
‘This is a national Salvation Army program,’ Robyn explains, ‘and we are achieving our goals; actually, we are above the targets we have set in terms of how many people we hoped to help in our first year. The Safer in the Home program is available in all states and territories, and we’ve just had our first referral from Julia Creek, outside of Cloncurry, in regional Queensland.’
Robyn adds that ‘we could see the ingredients for success were there from the beginning; we measure success in terms of people being able to stay in their own homes, their own communities and neighbourhoods. This is a unique program, where our service delivery partners, Protective Group, bring to bear risk and security expertise, together with The Salvation Army’s expertise in assisting people experiencing FDV.
‘We deliver a quality service in a timely manner, and we are getting a great deal of unsolicited, positive feedback from women, telling us what a difference this is making in the lives of those who receive it.’
Safer in the Home fills a service gap, targeting women and children considered to be at the lower end of the family violence risk scale [as] a crisis prevention program that is making a real difference. It is a three year program funded through the Australian Government’s Women’s Safety Package to Stop Family Violence.
If you are being harassed and fear for your safety or the safety of your children, email: [email protected]
This article was written by The Salvation Army and originally published on 4 August 2017.