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Safe Steps is a hidden, high-security facility in Melbourne that provides a safe haven for women and children at risk of being killed by violent partners. The location is kept secret, with tight security measures in place to protect the residents. Those admitted must sign nondisclosure agreements and have their belongings checked for trackers. Inside, the facility is homely and flooded with natural light, providing a safe space for clients to receive support and tools to start a new independent life.

The staff at Safe Steps work tirelessly to support women in need, providing medical care, legal assistance, and emotional support. Clients receive intensive care during their stay, with staff managing everything from children’s education to emergency dental care. The goal is to prepare women for a new life free from abuse, reducing the chances of them returning to dangerous situations. The facility operates as a secondary prevention tool, with a focus on helping women make safe exits from abusive relationships.

Despite the challenges and trauma faced by the clients, the staff at Safe Steps are proud to see women and children start to relax and feel safe during their stay. Through music and play therapy, children begin to heal from the trauma they have experienced, learning to trust and enjoy their surroundings. The facility also provides training for women to acquire new skills, such as working in a café or hairdressing salon, to boost their chances of finding employment and establishing independence.

One former client shared her experience of escaping abuse and finding refuge at Safe Steps. She emphasized the profound impact of the comprehensive support she received, transforming her from a victim to a survivor. With the help of Safe Steps, she was able to overcome the challenges she faced, find transitional housing, and begin a new chapter in her life. The facility not only provided physical safety but also empowered her to shape her own future and move forward from the trauma she endured.

As incidents of family violence continue to escalate in Australia, there is a growing demand for more facilities like Safe Steps to support women at risk. The facility’s personalized care and focus on building a strong foundation for independence set it apart from traditional motels and temporary accommodations. By providing a safe and supportive environment, Safe Steps aims to help clients break free from abusive relationships and start anew with confidence and security.

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