THIS week we hear from East Perth resident Tamara who has spoken up about the events and decisions that led to her spending Christmas without her children. She has since spent three festive seasons apart from her 7-year-old daughter, and even longer from her 12-year-old son. She is now a resident at St Bart’s Women’s Service, who are calling out for donations to help women like Tamara this festive season.
“It just takes that one event to turn your whole life upside down.”
That event took place three years ago when Tamara and her daughter travelled from Geraldton to Perth and moved in with her former partner, while her son stayed with her mother up north.
“I wasn’t even there a week before he put me in hospital. That relationship and the domestic violence I was put through changed everything for me.”
It took three months to get a restraining order against her former partner, and once she got it she and her daughter were able to move back into the house they’d been kicked out of. But that came with a $12,000 debt in unpaid rent.
Trying her best to stay afloat, more stress came when the Department for Child Protection got involved, and Tamara would lose both her daughter and her home.
She’s since obtained a room at St Bart’s Women’s Service in East Perth.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve been doing a lot better. Things are slowly starting to fall into place.”
With her children growing up apart, Tamara’s goal is to have the stability she needs to get both of them home with her.
She currently has weekly two hour supervised visits with her daughter, and hopes to soon have unsupervised visits to spend time with her in the community.
She’s applied for a unit at St Bart’s Community Housing, hoping to create a home to welcome her children back to.
“I’d love to be able to have my children come over, to cook up a storm and be somewhere they can see where I have my own space. As much as I like seeing my daughter moving forward, she needs to see me moving forward as well.”