When Sara* moved to Australia to live with her husband, she did not know his personality would change and she would be subjected to severe violence and control.

After she managed to escape from what had become a slavery-like relationship, she was referred to The Salvation Army’s Trafficking and Slavery Safe House for support and accommodation.

Sara lived at the Safe House for nine months while working toward her health, legal, education and employment goals. Slowly she began to focus on her future.

“I had to let go of the pain and leave it in my past,” she explains. “I had new motivation. I had to start to dream…

“I could focus on study and work, and I wanted to have my own home. I wanted to live in my own home. Now nobody could control me and my life like before. I would control my home, my future and my life, my new life.”

heal after modern slavery
“I wanted to live in my own home. Now nobody could control me and my life like before.”

Moving into her own home

As Sara healed from her traumatic experience she became excited to live independently. With the help of the Modern Slavery Housing Program she moved into a one-bedroom apartment, with her rent subsidised. She chose an apartment very close to the train station so she could easily commute to the city where she works as a cleaner. The apartment is also close to a TAFE where Sara studies English two days a week, and local community centres she regularly visits. She loves hosting friends at her home.

“I love having my caseworker to help me,” she affirms. “My caseworker supports me to look for the new house, gives me emotional support, explains things to me and helps me to save money.”

Since entering the program Sara has found a new job, got her driver’s licence and is learning how to manage her finances. Her work hours have fluctuated – although she was expecting to work full time, she sometimes has shorter shifts. The program’s flexible rental subsidy has ensured she still has enough money for all her expenses.

“Without the support it would not have been easy,” she says. “If I was working full time it would be ok, but right now it would be very difficult to pay all the rent. I want to work more so I have savings for emergencies and my future.”

Sara is grateful to be in control, and in her own home.

“Now everything is changing. Now I can face everything more by myself. Sometimes I have some money, sometimes not enough, but I don’t blame myself. I know I can manage it and I can be independent.”

heal after modern slavery
Safe, quality housing is fundamental to helping people make a new start.

About the Sisters of Charity Foundation’s Modern Slavery Housing Program

When a survivor is ready to leave the safe house to live independently, the Modern Slavery Housing Program can help them make the transition. In this unique model:

  1. The survivor has secured employment and a steady income, and is ready to transition to independent living.
  2. The Salvation Army helps the survivor find suitable accommodation.
  3. The Sisters of Charity Foundation heavily subsidises each rental payment for up to 12 months and provides a lump sum to set up the home with furniture and whitegoods.
  4. The survivor is supported by a Salvation Army case worker.
  5. When the survivor is ready they take over the lease – and now have a proven rental and employment history in Australia.

See how the Sisters of Charity Foundation is Raising the Roof for survivors of modern slavery in Australia.

*Name has been changed for safety reasons.

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

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