Safe Haven volunteer Margaret Williams and president Bette Bonney are calling for more volunteers.
Safe Haven volunteer Margaret Williams and president Bette Bonney are calling for more volunteers. Georja Ryan

Safe Haven volunteer voices need for more helping hands

"I AM proud of every scar I've ever had to wear, because I survived every one.

"The mental scars are hidden, but can still be seen by someone who has been in the same situation."

The raw, almost poetic, words of Margaret Williams, a survivor of domestic violence are enough to bring tingles to the fingertips of all who read them.

The strength that oozed as she recited memories of a dark past was inspiring, heart-breaking and encouraging.

For this Warwick woman, surviving what she did for the most part of her life was an indication she was a battler.

A battler ready to help others in the same situation.

A battler ready to share her wisdom and courage with those stuck in a living nightmare.

Which is why, in May 2010, Mrs Williams signed up to volunteer with the Warwick Safe Haven, a refuge for women and children escaping domestic violence.

"I come from a domestic violent background and I've sure had my fair share of it over the years," she said.

"I'm not ashamed of that.

"It wasn't my doing. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"To know I continued, I came through to where I am today, I'd like to know, that even if it's only in the smallest way, that I can give even just one woman some hope."

Mrs Williams said volunteering her time to the Safe Haven was rewarding, and having been through what she has, it was therapeutic to know she was helping people just like her.

"I whisper in the ear of the children that it won't always be like this," she said.

"I tell the women 'it can get better, you can get out of it and you can survive'.

"And it takes most women a few times before they can actually leave.

"But the one thing I always say is that the day you can leave without crying, that's the day you'll leave for good."

But Mrs Williams and the rest of the volunteers need help.

They are in desperate need of some new recruits to assist them with various duties around the Safe Haven home, with paper work, answering phones and more.

President of the Safe Haven Bette Bonney said places like this were only possible with the help of those willing to lend a hand.

"It's an opportunity to support women and children in very vulnerable situations from across Queensland," Mrs Bonney said.

"Whether it just be washing the sheets or helping clean the house, every little bit to assist us helps."

To become a volunteer, phone DV Service on 4639 3605 and ask to put your name down on the volunteer resister.

From there, prospective volunteers will be interviewed and trained so they are fully equipped with the skills needed to volunteer.

"It's something they won't regret," Mrs Bonney said.



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