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How we can help

Kara House offers a range of programs to assist women and children in situations of control and abuse. These include crisis accommodation, emotional support, children’s services and community education.

Seek help now

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Emergency

If you are experiencing family violence or you’re concerned for someone’s safety and need immediate assistance:

Support and information

If you require crisis support and information: www.safesteps.org.au

Kara House provides a confidential outreach support service to women experiencing family violence. We can provide support and information regarding your legal rights, accommodation options, and referral to counselling services, court support or other services as identified.

Our Useful Resources

section has more information about other family violence support services and brochures.

Crisis accommodation

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Kara House provides safe and secure accommodation and for women and children escaping family violence.

Refuge

Part of the Victorian Women’s Crisis Accommodation service.

Security

Highly secure accommodation that prioritises their safety in the immediate crisis.

Material aid

Provision of material aid to address immediate needs.

Who we work with

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Who we work with
We provide advice and support to assist women no matter their background:
  • Single women
  • Women with children
  • Young women
  • Older women
  • Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • LGBTI – Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex

How we help

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How we help
Kara House Specialist Family Violence Practitioners help women to identify their individual needs.
  • Advice, information and emotional support
  • Outreach support for clients in motels waiting for crisis accommodation
  • Safety planning and risk assessment
  • Information about the legal processes, court support, family court and child protection
  • Advocacy, referral and liaison with other services
  • Specialist children’s assessment and support
  • A Place To Call Home provides ongoing support for clients in transitional housing
  • Education and well-being activities which encourage change

Working with children

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Working with children
We work with the mother and child to identify every individual child’s specific requirements:
  • A specialist Children’s Practitioner will conduct an initial child’s assessment to identify trauma
  • Specific needs are clearly identified and referrals and linkages to other services are put in place
  • Every child has an ongoing case plan with routine follow-ups
  • Liaison with schools and childcare centres and Maternal and Child Health centres
  • Communicate and work closely with Child Protection

Working with LGBTI

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Working with LGBTI
Kara House responds to direct contact or referrals for LGBTI community experiencing domestic violence:
  • A specialist understanding of the complexities of domestic violence
  • We work with the LGBTI community
  • Provide crisis accommodation and support for same sex attracted women experiencing abuse in a relationship
  • Provide ongoing outreach support and advice to lesbian, transgender, gay, bi-sexual and intersex males
  • Liaison with other services that are specific to the LGBTI community

Client stories

Names and details have been changed to protect client privacy.

Kristy

Kristy

Kristy is 32 years of age with a 2-year-old son, William. Kara House met with Kristy whilst she was being accommodated in a motel by Safe Steps, while awaiting a refuge vacancy. She and her son were wearing the pajamas they left the house in the night before. Kristy’s son was from a previous relationship which broke down to due family violence.

Through social media, the previous perpetrator continued to harass her, despite Kristy having an Intervention Order against him. William had not been having access with his father, although it was currently before the Family Court. Kristy was terrified she will lose her son. Kristy had been in a relationship with her current perpetrator for 12 months. It was a same-sex relationship. Kristy assessed her level of risk as being 10/10.

Over the previous 3 months the family violence had escalated; her partner was controlling, physically and verbally abusive, isolated her and threatened to ‘out’ her to her family. When the Kara House worker met with Kristy, she was provided with clothing and toiletries for herself and her son. William was provided with toys.

Kristy was exhausted by her situation and overwhelmed by the issues she was facing. The worker acknowledged how she was feeling and one-by-one discussed each of Kristy’s problems, breaking down the information and support available to address the issues. She informed Kristy of social media safety and advised her that her former partner can be reported for breaching the Intervention Order. Two days later Kristy and William were transferred to refuge.
Maria

Maria

Maria was referred to Kara House for family violence crisis accommodation in April 2016. She was accompanied by her two daughters, Lena 6yo and Carmel 3yo. The perpetrator of the violence was Maria’s husband and the father of her daughters. Maria and the girls had to leave the family home, without a change of clothes or any other personal items. Maria could not speak English; she was isolated, she did not have access to money and she had never parented her daughters – this being done by extended family members.

When Maria first came to Kara House she was frightened, quiet and kept to herself. Maria’s daughters came into Kara House with their own issues. The children were sad and withdrawn. Child protection were involved. Maria’s case plan was all-encompassing and complex and incorporated case plans for the children. Kara House worked in conjunction with medical services, paediatrician, psychologist, Centrelink and financial counsellor, legal services and child protection.

Kara House provided support at court and attended most appointments with Maria. All conversations and referrals required the assistance of interpreters. The Kara House Children’s Resource Worker worked alongside Maria’s support worker and provided assistance, referral and advocacy for, and on behalf of the children. It was a steep learning curve for Maria during her stay at Kara House.

With the assistance of Kara House, she learnt and developed everyday living skills and was mentored with parenting. She became less reserved and began to converse in English. Maria’s daughters started to play and become engaged with workers and other children in the refuge. Kara House facilitated Maria’s return to her family home in August; Maria’s husband has left the home and safety measures have been put in place. Lena has returned to school and Carmel is in child care. Kara House will continue to provide outreach support until a service, more local to where Maria lives, can commence.

Family Violence Support Group

Building hope and strength for the future.

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The group is for women and their children who have experienced family violence and might be feeling alone, stuck and overwhelmed. It's a safe place to take time out, improve your well-being and develop strategies for the future. Over 6 weeks enjoy relaxation activities and time to talk with other women with similar circumstances. The group is facilitated by our Specialist Family Violence Practitioners who understand your situation and are there to help.

To find out more, or book your place, please contact Kara House on 1800 900 520 or email admin@karahouse.org.au