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Taraneh's Story

Taraneh was a resident at our Mary Smith Refuge.
We have changed her name to protect her identity.

Taraneh and her 18-month-old daughter came to our Mary Smith Refuge  when she had to flee her home due to family and domestic violence. She said she needed a break from her family because they were very verbally abusive.

Taraneh had arrived in Australia as a refugee with her husband and extended family. She separated from her husband to escape his violence and moved in with her extended family. Here she was further abused, physically, psychologically and financially. She was deprived of food and privacy. She often slept in a park, which she found safer than living with her family.

When Taraneh arrived at the Mary Smith Refuge, she was in very poor health, in a state of malnutrition and needed immediate medical attention.  She felt shame and grief from losing her family connection and was socially isolated.

Taraneh told Starick staff that she needed assistance in sourcing help for her daughter and herself.

Starick staff supported Taraneh in the following ways:

  •  Supported her to apply for accommodation through the Department of Housing.
  • Advocated for her and offered emotional support.
  •  Developed  a budget.
  • Helped her to connect with other women and participate in workshops
  • Made referrals at her request to health service providers, centrelink, legal services and Counselling.

We are pleased to report that Taraneh has grown emotionally stronger, happier and more confident and is looking forward to moving into her own place. She has been listed for priority assistance and referred to Starick’s transitional housing program.

Her physical health has improved dramatically. She has developed budgeting skills and reports that she feels more in control of her life.

Her social skills and confidence have improved and she is meeting new friends.

Here’s what Taraneh says about the Mary Smith refuge...

“I appreciate all the help that staff have offered to me. I am noticing improvements in my health and wellbeing since being at the refuge. I feel that staff are very respectful of my Muslim culture.

My daughter’s development is much better than before. I feel I am bonding with everyone well. I have learned how to use the ATM and how to use public transport to go to different places. I am more able to seek assistance, am more confident to talk to people and I now cook healthy food.”

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