• Steph Stephens, SJC Community Worker

Recovering from domestic violence

Last week we had a young woman visit St John’s Care who we will call Susan (not her real name). She has been through some hard times recently and hadn’t been to the Centre before. Because she has experienced domestic violence from an abusive partner she lives on her own with her young daughter.

Our Community Worker, Steph, spoke with Susan and offered her a safe space to tell her story, talk about her issues and start making plans to improve her future. She explained that she has had to endure years of abusive behaviour from her partner where she felt trapped. She said, “I stayed because it was all I knew and didn’t feel confident enough to leave.”

With the help of a Domestic Violence program, Susan was able to leave her partner and move to a safe place. Understandably, she is struggling to navigate through feelings of depression and low self-esteem.

Susan has very little money as she is waiting for her Centrelink benefits to be approved. She had no fresh food or personal hygiene products. SJC was able to provide Susan with food, personal hygiene products, bus tickets to help with transport and assistance with utility bills.

Steph also discussed with Susan how she would feel about attending a group at SJC, facilitated by her, to talk about growth and parenting skills with others who had similar experiences.

Susan said that a group like that would be helpful as it’s often a topic not touched on by her friends. She said, “It would be good to speak with other women who have also experienced significant challenges.” She left SJC feeling a lot lighter for having been heard and supported.

Hardship and setback can strike anyone—an unexpected crisis, the loss of a job, health problems, family breakdown and a number of other reasons. With your assistance SJC is here to help and support all people in a non-judgmental manner with dignity and respect.

SJC wish List: tinned fruit, shampoo, conditioner and savory biscuits.

Steph Stephens

Community Worker


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