Art Therapy Program & Family Violence Support Group

Family violence is a serious and widespread problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs. Investment in programs that empower victims of family violence present a significant opportunity for social impact: programs to help victims cope with abuse, plan for safety, and develop self-esteem. There are minimal support programs for client education, wellbeing, children’s activities and community education in Melbourne’s inner-eastern region (research by Chisholm Institute for Kara House). Kara House is seeking financial support from The Tucker Foundation for an Art Therapy program in refuge and a Family Violence Support Group program in the community. Art Therapy provides an empowering outlet to assist survivors safely express and contain difficult and terrorising feelings, cope with traumatic memories and triggers, support emotional stabilisation and strengthen a sense of safety. A trained art therapist will conduct fortnightly 2-hour art therapy classes (26 sessions a year) for women and children in Kara House refuge, with a goal of allowing space for relaxation/reflection of personal strengths and resources. Family Violence Support Group. Partnering with Carrington Health, we will host 2 facilitated Support Groups for women (from Whitehorse community) with referrals from Carrington Health, doctors and Centrelink social workers. The primarily aim is family violence education, facilitated group discussions, with focus on wellbeing and moving forward via relaxation activities eg. massage, tai chi, music and art therapy. Participants’ safety will be the highest priority. Participants will be interviewed prior to joining the group to ensure there is minimal risk to their wellbeing.