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Helena's Story

Helena was assisted by our outreach services team.
We have changed her name to protect her identity.

Helena is an elderly single woman who was socially isolated and lived in her own home. Her adult children were the perpetrators, regularly abusing her, physically, verbally and financially.

Helena was referred to Starick after being physically assaulted by a family member. Helena had not reported these earlier assaults by her family to anyone, she was frightened of being alone and abandoned by her family if she did not give them what they wanted. However, she acknowledged to Starick staff that these assaults were ongoing and she just wanted them to stop.

The Starick Outreach worker who visited Helena was very concerned about her vulnerability, repeated intimidation by family members for money and threats to harm her or damage her property if she did not comply were a great cause of stress and fear, and Helena stated that she felt very unsafe.

Helena worked with staff on how to safely disengage with her family and she showed great strength in refusing to hand over money to family members, even though this meant that they were verbally abusing her as a result.

Starick staff supported Helena to access health services who would visit her weekly and assist in her daily care. Staff assisted Helena to contact legal services who assisted her in financially securing her home so her family could have no claim on it, Helena stated that she felt secure and safe in her home and the fear of homelessness had gone.

From the risk assessment and safety plan and security assessment that was done with Helena the gate height was raised so that people could not climb over, locks were rekeyed and a security camera installed. These services helped to protect Helena from her perpetrators.

Starick’s Outreach team continued to provide emotional support to Helena.  Referrals were also made to other agencies who were able to provide ongoing co-ordinated support and services to her.

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