Rania was only 13 when she married her husband via an arranged marriage. She had her first child at just 14, and then two more before she turned 18. Tragically, not long after they married, Rania's husband began being violent towards her.
Rania put up with it for years before leaving. She went to a family violence service in her area, who helped Rania and her children move to another part of Melbourne.
"We thought we were safe, but my husband found out where we lived," she says. "We had to move again. After that we felt a bit safer, but we did not know anyone, and we had very little money."
When Rania came to Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service for support, our first priority was to ensure she and her children remained safe. We helped her take out an intervention order on her husband and supported her through the long and complicated Family Court process. We visited her at home to help reduce her feelings of isolation. We also gave her some financial support to buy food and other essentials for her family.
Rania set about re-establishing her life in a new community. She enrolled her children in the local school, and made an effort to meet the teachers and other parents. At the same time she began studying a Diploma in Child Care.
"I was determined to get a job and make things better for my family," she says. "So when I got a job in a child care centre - my first real job, ever - I was just so happy."
Just knowing she had someone supporting her gave Rania the strength to rebuild her life after violence. She now feels strong enough to forge a bright future for herself and her children.