Dialog Box

CatholicCare Victoria

Supporting children to rewrite their stories

No child should bear witness to the chaos of domestic violence. Yet, estimates reveal that over two million children across Australia endure abuse within their homes before reaching the age of 15. 

When we first encountered Mason* in his home, the scene was heartbreaking. Clad in pyjamas, his eyes were fixed on the television with the volume set to an extreme. He sought refuge in distractions to cope with the overwhelming distress he had endured from witnessing domestic violence since infancy. 

Labelled as 'non-verbal' and absent from school, Mason was missing the key elements for a nurtured, safe and cheerful childhood—laughter, play, routine, and the bond with his primary caregiver. Essentials for every child's growth and development into happy, thriving individuals. 

His experiences of domestic violence had silenced Mason, leaving him feeling isolated and struggling to articulate his pain. 

The repercussions of domestic violence linger as enduring emotional and psychological scars. For children, these effects ripple into challenges in relationships, learning, and self-esteem, persisting well into adulthood. 

At CatholicCare Victoria, we stand alongside children like Mason, offering solace and support as they navigate the aftermath of trauma inflicted upon them at such a young age. 

Recognising a voice yearning to be heard behind Mason's silence, our dedicated worker, Sally, embarked on a journey to empower him. 

Visiting Mason daily, Sally knelt to his level, giving him eye contact and speaking to him with calm reassurance. Initially met with grunts and shrugs, or Mason retreating behind his blanket, these consistent visits fostered trust and understanding between Sally and Mason.  

The nurturing environment Sally had created bolstered Mason's confidence, and provided a safe haven for him to express himself. 

After months of steadfast support from Sally, Mason courageously returned to school. 

This monumental step marked triumph for Mason, bringing him closer to reclaiming a childhood filled with opportunities for learning, play, and a brighter future. 

As Mason's story illustrates, hope perseveres even in the darkest of circumstances. With the right support and intervention, we can empower children like Mason to transcend their trauma and rewrite their narratives. 

Your generous donation would ensure that children like Mason have access to counselling and compassionate support, enabling them to transform their lives. 

Donate to the CatholicCare Victoria Sunday Appeal now, or support the Sunday Appeal in your local Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Melbourne on the weekend of 4-5 May. 

It is through your support that we can foster thriving, compassionate communities and transform children’s lives. 

 Donate now  

*While the stories are true, names and images have been changed to protect privacy.

Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report on ‘Children exposed to family violence’. 

18 April 2024
Category: News