Making Christmas day special is important to many parents. After a violent relationship separated Makena from her children, it was especially important that Makena’s family could be together.
Makena* had suffered from the effects of domestic violence and abuse in her relationship for many years, leaving both her and her two children feeling isolated and vulnerable. After years of physical and psychological abuse by her husband, Makena took the courageous decision to end their relationship and move away with her children. Makena’s husband continued to pursue and pester her, making false accusations to the police and begging her return with the children. Facing a custody battle and court case Makena felt overwhelmed, daunted and fearful for the future safety of her children, but found support in our Families Together service and caseworker Laura.
With Laura’s help, Makena was able to manage the custody court case and realise the extent to which she had been manipulated and abused by her husband. Laura and Family Action became crucial aspects of Makena’s support, helping her overcome the challenges she faced.
Things we’re starting to settle down for Makena until one day when she went to collect her children from the station after visiting their father, they weren’t there. Makena panicked and contacted the police. It soon became apparent that their abusive father had kidnapped them. During the ordeal that lasted the following nine days, Laura and Family Action once again provided the vital support Makena needed. During this distressing time, Laura visited Makena each day, advising her how to manage her increasingly aggressive and threating husband and gain judicial support to return her children.
With two days to go until Christmas Makena received the welcome news her children would be returning to her at the hostel she was staying in. Understanding the extreme stress and anxiety Makena had been under as well as the added pressures of Christmas, Laura arranged for toys from our Christmas Toy Appeal to be set aside for the children as well as Christmas decorations. Makena was delighted to have her children back with her Together at Christmas and hugely grateful for the support she received from Laura and Family Action.
*Names have been changed
Find out how you can help give families like Makena’s the chance to have a happier Christmas together with Together at Christmas.