Employment program for women impacted by family violence

Woman wearing mask cleaning window

Women In Work is an employment program within the Good Samaritan Inn (GSI) focused on finding employment for women who have experienced family violence. GSI’s purpose is to help women build a thriving sense of self and generate a sustainable income through employment.

Family violence can take many forms including financial abuse, which can cause women to feel trapped in a violent relationship due to insufficient finances and or a perceived inability to support themselves or their families without their abusive partner. Some women may never have had the opportunity to work outside the home and some may have left that employment due to caring responsibilities or because it became too difficult to work whilst being in an abusive relationship.

By providing women who have experienced family violence with employment and coaching, Women In Work aims to break the cycle of family violence and help women on a pathway to self-sufficiency. In addition to providing employment, Women In Work have piloted a six-month, one-on-one coaching program. The coaching program has been designed using EMPath, a world-wide Economic Mobility Pathways Model, with a family violence lens.

A Family Violence Specialist practitioner will deliver the coaching program and will build on participants skills and resilience to address barriers and to motivate sustainable change, whilst maintaining employment gained through Women In Work.

Progress Statistics

Women In Work have partnered with businesses across Melbourne that offer part-time and full-time work in various industries including cleaning, childcare, hospitality, administration, age care and factory labour work.

Since November 2020:

  • Over $26,000 income has been earned by women
  • 21 women have been referred into the program
  • 8 women linked to ongoing jobs

Fayza was referred to GSI by a Homelessness Service and, along with her 18-month-old daughter, stayed in GSI’s crisis accommodation. Whilst GSI worked with Fayza and specialist immigration services, Fayza was not eligible to receive any income, and had no exit or housing options. A few months after being referred to GSI, Fayza and her daughter moved into GSI’s transitional house.  

GSI’s Women in Work partnered with another local community service organisation to create a job opportunity for a part-time administration role to which Fayza was referred.  GSI worked with a local childcare service to enable Fayza to access free childcare for Fayza’s daughter, enabling her to work.

Since leaving Syria, Fayza was controlled emotionally, psychologically and financially by her former husband. Fayza has worked with this organisation for 8 months, enabling her to earn money and work towards becoming financially independent for the first time since arriving in Australia. 

Fayza often states that finding this work has changed her life and Fayza now dreams to build a new life for herself and her daughter where she breaks the cycle of poverty. Due to the freedom and options offered through employment, Fayza is beginning to save towards renting a home of her own.   

Find out more from the GSI website here.