It was a couple of days before Christmas 2019 when 32-year-old Ruby was forced to call her mum and ask if she could pick up her 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Ruby’s partner had started throwing bits of furniture around the house and his aggression was scaring her.
“I knew things were bad that day and I knew I had to leave. We had just been Christmas shopping and had spent some money buying presents for the kids. Things had been feeling rocky and dangerous for a while, but I think the shopping just set him off.”
Two weeks later, after staying with her mum, Ruby was referred through to WAGEC and three weeks later she moved into one of WAGEC's crisis refuges with her two children. Throughout the next 6 months, WAGEC's Case Managers worked to support Ruby to find a new home, rebuild her confidence and assure her that leaving was the safest option for her and her children . For some women who have experienced abuse over a long period of time, the act and decision to leave can often be fraught with feelings of guilt, confusion and regret. Is this the best option for my children? Should I have stayed for the family? Maybe I was over-reacting? are just some of the comments Case Managers hear from women, mostly mothers, in the days and weeks after leaving. For Ruby, who left during the Christmas period, these feelings were heightened.
A little over two years later, Ruby and her kids are settled in a new and safe home. And although those feelings do creep up from time to time, Ruby knew when she woke up this past Christmas day in a safe home with both her children, that what she did was never really a choice between leaving or staying, it was the only way forward towards a safe future for herself and her children.