Mental illness had crept its way into Amie’s former relationship with her ex-partner and it continued to be an ongoing issue for him.
“Our relationship got really nasty, really quickly. Tommy’s dad saw me as the bad guy, trying to break them up. He was really embarrassed that mental illness was attached to him and his family,” said Amie.
“He was very, very upset and became really aggressive to the point I feared for our lives. He knew where we lived. I knew we had to leave.”
Amie packed the car, bundled up her young son and fled.
“My number one priority has always been Tommy’s safety. I was so fearful, then, and even in women’s shelters, I’d make sure I’d locked the door ten times a night.”
When Amie first arrived at BaptistCare HopeStreet’s medium-term supported accommodation she was highly stressed.
“I was depressed, down-trodden, and anxious. Talking with the team at BaptistCare empowered me every day. They made such a positive difference to me emotionally and psychologically.”
BaptistCare HopeStreet supports women and children escaping domestic violence with secure accommodation, access to individual counselling as well as ongoing supportive, educational, financial and parenting programs.
Amie attended self-development courses and women’s groups that explored domestic violence. “I gained more confidence. The fear was still there, but I could manage it, deal with it. Some days, just chatting to my caseworker would ground me.”
A few months later, Amie and Tommy moved into their new two-bedroom home in secure community housing.
“I feel like I’ve won the lotto. Every day I wake up and it’s such a blessing. Some days, I can’t believe we have a home, I wake up and for ten minutes I have to sit and think of the journey that we have been through – Bubba and I,” said Amie.
"I’m so thankful for BaptistCare, with their heart, wisdom, and years of experience. They helped me get to where I am now, I’m in such a better place, thank God.”
You can be part of creating change and responding to Australia’s domestic and family violence crisis. Tickets are on sale now for our annual Halo Ball (Friday 8 May 2020, Sydney), which raises vital funds for HopeStreet's domestic and family violence support services. Visit haloball.org.au for more information.
* Names changed. Images for illustration only.