Five years ago Tania suffered a major medical setback, leading to endless medical concerns, piles of unpaid bills and an abusive partner. ‘Everything was gone in a puff of smoke,’ she says. ‘I was financially choking and my partner was so upset I couldn’t work that he became abusive. I felt that suddenly the world was over.’
Tania filed a protection order against her partner, meaning her two daughters were forced into respite care while Tania spent three more months in hospital for major surgery. During this time Tania’s partner forcefully took one of their daughters from respite care, adding stress to Tania’s already fragile state.
‘I already had to leave my young girls with strangers, and then this happened,’ she says. ‘I just got so mentally depressed because it seemed like there were no answers.’
Upon her recovery Tania came to The Salvation Army because she didn’t know where else to go. With no money, needing to renew her relationships with her young daughters and no foreseeable source of income, Tania knew she needed help.
‘I came to see a budget advisor,’ she says. ‘I just kept coming in and they offered me support and taught me how to manage my budget and get my life back together.
‘Coming to The Salvation Army really brought me around to realise that there are other people in the world like me,’ she continues. ‘I’m not the only one who has had tough times.’
Tania got her budget in order, meaning she and her daughters could manage on Tania’s invalid benefit as Tania began to pay off her debt. She also participated in The Salvation Army ‘Positive Lifestyle Program’ and the local community’s ‘Living Without Violence’ course, both of which inspired her to help other women.
‘I really want to be a facilitator so that I can talk to other women who can’t see outside what their lives are now,’ she says. ‘I want to be able to tell them that I’ve walked it—I’ve been where they are and I am so blessed to be here today.’
Tania is thankful that she is in a much better place than she used to be. ‘I used to call what I’ve been through “the black area”’, she says, ‘but we got through it and I can call it “colourful” now. I am just so glad I came to The Salvation Army. They helped change