Supporting victims of family violence

Ross Coleman, Service Development Manager at BaptistCare, outlines how the No Interest Loan Scheme can assist victims of family violence.

Jill heaved a huge sigh, pushed against the door and hesitantly walked into the waiting room. The last ten years had been very tough for her – living with an abusive violent partner, trying to protect her kids from their dad who often destroyed their toys and feeling an overwhelming sense of constant worthlessness.

Jill had part finished her Certificate in bookkeeping but could no longer afford the fees when her ex took control of all the family income. With great courage Jill and her children were able to escape from this monster. However, she still needed money to get her life back on track.

Jill was hoping to get a NILS loan to complete the accounting course as well as buy some toys for her children. To her surprise her loan application was approved and as she walked into the office to receive her cheque Jill was a different person – huge smile, shoulders held high and a positive attitude that filled the room. After the forms were signed and completed Jill said ‘You will never realise how much this means to me. I’ll come back when I’ve finished the course and do your books for you!’

Family violence continues to be in the national media often tragically portraying the death or injury to a female victim on a weekly basis. Jill was lucky. She was able to escape but many others have few options. All levels of government are investing millions of dollars to help address this epidemic in our nation. In a small but important way NILS is assisting people like Jill to escape the trauma of family violence and reorientate their lives and their children into a new freer direction. In this edition of Network News you will read an article on the changes to policies and procedures to allow us to help more people like Jill.

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