After years of enduring domestic abuse in her marriage, Wendy finally made the courageous decision to leave with her two sons and find temporary safety in a refuge.
“After we left the refuge, we had nowhere to go. We were homeless for a while, moving from place to place and couch-surfing with friends where we could. There were more than a few nights we had to sleep in our car.”
Wendy tried hard to support her children, eventually finding a small unit for them to live in. But as she struggled to find enough work, the bills began to pile up. With more going out than coming in, Wendy soon found herself in dire-straits financially.
“Eventually you just get snowed under. I had people hounding me for money that I couldn’t pay and I was scared to answer the phone. I couldn’t believe I’d ended up in this situation.”
Poverty isn’t just about a lack of money, it often means a lack of choice and the loss of dignity. Your donation this tax time can help restore that. In Australia, 33% of single parents live below the poverty line and the majority of these are women. There are many reasons people in our nation face poverty and the factors are often complex and hidden. However, for women, the leading cause is domestic abuse and family violence.
“I would have to go down to a food bank and ask for a handout, just to put food on the table for my kids. That was the hardest thing to do; I felt so ashamed. So I started drinking to numb that feeling. Alcohol became my way of ‘coping’ but it actually just made everything worse.”
Wendy’s shame and depression deepened and after fighting so hard to protect her children, she eventually lost custody of her boys. At 52, Wendy had no choice but to move back home to live with her mum interstate.
“I first heard about CAP when I was living with mum and at my absolute lowest. I’d lost my boys, my home, my health, my self-worth. I was so depressed I finally went to see a local GP.”
Wendy’s doctor recognised the need for a greater and more long-term solution and referred Wendy to CAP.
“That first visit with CAP, in my mum’s lounge room, changed my life! They didn’t judge me and they showed me how CAP could help sort out my financial mess, which was such a huge relief. And then they offered to pray for me. For so long I hadn’t felt good enough for God, but they shared about how God loves me unconditionally. Right there, in the middle of bills and budget information, I re-committed my life to Jesus!”
Not only does CAP give a practical solution to the financial crisis people face, we share the love of Jesus and the hope and dignity He restores. It’s because of generous people like you that Wendy’s life is now radically different! Hers is not just another story, it’s another life transformed.
“Working with CAP meant I had someone to walk alongside me, I wasn’t alone. I’m now debt free, sober and my relationship with my children and my mum is restored. My oldest son David is now living with me again and I’m so happy.”
As much as we’re excited to share Wendy’s story with you, we’re also hopeful for a time when we have no more stories like this left to tell; when stories of poverty and despair in Australia are non-existent.