Ruby's Story

Part of a series of 16 stories featuring women we have accompanied through the Finding Safety Project, shared for the 16 Days of Activism.

Ruby* is an elderly woman, currently on a bridging visa in Australia. She made the decision to leave her home country and live with her son in Sydney after experiencing years of domestic violence. While she hoped for safety and stability, Ruby has faced many difficulties since her arrival. 

Ruby experienced mistreatment while living with her son. When she then made the brave decision to seek accommodation at a refuge, Ruby faced a distressing intake assessment where the refuge worker engaged in inappropriate and intimidating questioning. No longer feeling safe at the refuge, Ruby had no option but to remain with her son despite concerns about her mistreatment. 

Alongside these challenges, Ruby was experiencing ongoing medical issues associated with injuries caused by domestic violence, and mental health issues that culminated in multiple attempts to take her own life. 

The Finding Safety Project team at our Women’s Space were able to establish a strong rapport with Ruby, creating a safe environment for her to share her concerns and fears, as well as access the support she needed to rebuild her life in Australia.

Through the Finding Safety Project, Ruby was able to acquire furniture for her room, and receive assistance to pursue her goal of attaining independence through employment. 

When Ruby did secure work and found a place of her own, she expressed gratitude to the team at the Women’s Space for their support along the way. 

Ruby described this support as crucial in enabling her to ensure her safety and regain her independence.

*name changed to protect story-teller’s identity

16 Days of Activism

JRS Australia is participating in the call to action presented by the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls. This story has been shared as part of our “16 Days, 16 Stories” Campaign for 2023, focusing on the work we do through our Finding Safety Project to support women on temporary visas who have experienced or are at risk of sexual or gender-based violence. 

We sincerely hope that reading these stories, and learning more about the important work our Finding Safety Project does in the absence of any other coordinated or government support, will inspire you to invest in us, invest in the women we serve, and invest in a future where women and girls are free from all forms of violence.

Visit our 16 Days, 16 Stories campaign page to learn more.