Ruth’s Story


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Ruth’s Story

A simple dream to live in peace…

This time last year, Ruth* was dreaming of a safe, peaceful and happy life for her children, away from her abusive partner. But it was a dream that seemed impossible to her.


For years, Ruth endured Mike’s* violent temper. He also taunted the children, Samantha*, Ruth’s 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, six-year-old Ben* and eight-year-old Emma* – the two children Ruth had with Mike. Ben, the usual target of his verbal attacks, began to have behavioural issues.

Help families like Ruth’s feel safe and secure. 

Mike couldn’t hold down a job and at times the family barely had enough food to eat. After Ruth finally summoned the courage to leave him and moved into another house with her children, Mike would turn up unannounced and threaten her.

When one of her relatives told her about Family Works’ Parenting Through Separation course she realised there were people who would understand her situation and could support her. Ruth met Family Works counsellor Gina* who understood her situation and whom she learned to trust. Having someone to confide in increased her determination to do what’s best for her family.

Samantha began specialist counselling while Ben and Emma joined the Restore programme which helped them deal with their experiences.

“It made a big difference knowing that help is out there if you ask for it.
Family Works has helped me a lot.”

Encouraged by all the support Family Works gave her, Ruth also participated in The Incredible Years parenting course. The 14-week course taught her positive parenting skills which she immediately put into practice. It helped her to create a supportive, wholesome environment for the children so they could finally forget the violent home they left behind.

The Court issued a protection order for Ruth and her family. They also have a safety plan in place and Mike has supervised access to his children for a few hours each week.

Ruth and her children now live in peace, enjoying their family’s newfound harmony.

“We’re a lot calmer and relaxed. The house feels like a home.”

*Names changed and models used to protect identities.

Thanks to generous supporters, Family Works is helping many families in need to feel safe and secure – families who realise change is possible and their dreams can come true.