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Fleeing for Life: Escaping Domestic Violence in Arnhem Land

MAF recently helped transport families escaping domestic violence in Arnhem Land, Australia through Crisis Accomodation Gove.

Information sourced from Crisis Accommodation Gove. Revised and Filed by Divyan Ahimaz.

Melody and her newborn

Melody*, a 27-year-old mum of three was referred to Crisis Accommodation Gove by the Numbulwarr police. She was heavily pregnant and experienced abuse from her partner. He pregnancy was at high risk and the police requested Melody to stay at the shelter till her baby was born.

A flight was organised through MAF to immediately evacuate Melody into Nhulunbuy. She received support at the local hospital in relation to her high-risk pregnancy and a plan was organised for her to travel to Darwin for the birth of her baby; to be near a specialist team and away from the unsafe environment with her partner.

A second MAF flight was conducted for Melody, two weeks from leaving the homeland. Melody was experiencing great anxiety over the separation of her 2 young children who were left behind with her family. She was then further supported by CAG to travel to Darwin for the birth of her baby with her two children and a support person. Without the support of MAF charter flights Melody and her unborn baby would have been in threat of serious harm as a result from domestic violence and at risk of pre-term labour.

Deserted on an island

A family called the women’s shelter worrying for the welfare of their daughter, May*. She was living away from them on Bremmer Island. They stated she was unsafe as she was left in a house with no carer or food. The family was in a state where they couldn’t get to her for the next 2 days. A flight was organised through MAF sponsorship to collect May off the island and bring her to safety with family in Nhulunbuy.

Finding safety with mum

Lydia* was only 23 when she fled to Nhulunbuy for the safe birth of her unborn child. Following the birth, she was referred to Crisis Accommodation Gove for safety and support; to work through next steps of locating a safe living environment for mother and child. Lydia nominated her mother’s home community where she could live in safety. A MAF sponsored flight relocated Lydia and her newborn baby. They are now living free from violence.

Holiday gone awry

Conny* walked to the women’s shelter with two young boys. She explained to the case workers that they had come to Nhulunbuy for a family holiday, but then her partner started drinking. He would make Conny and the children feel unsafe when he was intoxicated. Fearing the safety of her children, she approached the shelter.

Conny is from the community of Umbakumba and requested assistance to get back to her family. MAF had organised a flight, but she failed to get to the airport and decided to return to her husband. She is currently being supported through outreach by the shelter. MAF is coordinating with CAG to fly Conny to safety if she should need it anytime.

*Victims are mentioned under pseudonyms.

** Photos are representative only and not specific to any of the women or the flights they were on.

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