Samantha’s Story

20-year-old Samantha was experiencing family violence on the Gold Coast. Her mother was verbally and psychologically abusive, and when this escalated into physical violence, she fled the family home and slept rough for a month. She had a contact who offered her a place to stay in Manly, so she travelled down by train, hoping for a new beginning.

However, she soon discovered they intended to groom her into sex work. The house was excessively dangerous, with unsavoury characters and drug paraphernalia present, and there was no lock on the front door. Her greatest desire at this point was for safety but was so exhausted and feeling very lost that she had little capacity to work out what to do next.

She found our walk-in support service with a google search and made her way to the Centre carrying 6 bags and 2 large suitcases. She was exhausted, malnourished, frightened and wary of trusting people. We were immediately able to advocate for temporary accommodation that night in a hotel and paid for an uber to get her there and back again the next morning. After some welcome rest, she could engage with a plan to secure supported accommodation, and the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter was able to offer her a place.

She desired to eventually return to the Gold Coast, and so the Shelter was happy to have her stay for the time she needed to regroup and regain her strength and capacity.

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