Single mother-of-three Juliet Potter always dreamed about buying a caravan and taking holidays with her children.
But when she bought a used caravan on Facebook, the 45-year-old woman, from Sydney, decided it could help other families who need temporary housing.
The owner of PR agency Girl PR has created White Caravan – an initiative that will see renovated caravans accessed by women leaving abusive relationships.
A mother said she will transform a used caravan into temporary housing for women who escape toxic relationships (stock image)
When single mother-of-three Juliet Potter (pictured) bought a used caravan on Facebook, she decided it could help other families who need temporary housing
It is now fast-becoming a solution to the crowded domestic violence shelters and refuges across Australia.
‘I’d love to think White Caravan can play a role in helping women to transition into a new beginning, and particularly for the children involved to remember their time in the caravan in a positive way,’ Ms Potter told FEMAIL.
‘Not only can this help to solve the accommodation crisis, but will also help raise ongoing awareness for domestic suffering.’
According to Women’s Community Shelters, the shortage of temporary accommodation is at critical levels with one in two women turned away from crisis centres and more than 50,000 women homeless every night across the nation.
The mother said the caravan will be fully renovated so families could feel comfortable at ‘home away from home’ (pictured the caravan before renovations)
Violence against women in Australia
- Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children
- Women aged between 18 and 35 are more likely to experience violence than women in overall
- A woman killed by her partner is most likely to be killed at home
- One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them
- One in four children are exposed to domestic violence
Source: White Ribbon Australia
The chief executive of Domestic Violence New South Wales, Moo Baulch, has called for more housing services to help those who are forced to live on the streets.
‘Increasing numbers of women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence are seeking assistance from homelessness services,’ she added.
‘But services are not being funded to keep up with this demand.
‘Ensuring a resourced and funded homelessness sector is vital to ensuring the safety of those escaping domestic and family violence.’
Ms Potter said with rent and home prices sky-rocketing, along with limited government funding, there is a massive shortage of accommodation available for women who are desperate to escape a toxic relationship, most often with children.
White Caravan aims to alleviate this shortage of both long and short-term accommodation, along with providing support, resources and hope (stock image)
White Caravan aims to alleviate this shortage of both long and short-term accommodation, along with providing support, resources and hope.
‘White Caravan has had enormous support since its inception and it’s really taking on a powerful community appeal,’ Ms Potter said.
‘We’ve already been contacted by potential supporters who want to be involved.
‘We’ve had offers of caravan donations. Even the local footy team have offered to help muck-in on the renovations.
‘These are men who want to help women in the community and who are leading by example. It’s been absolutely incredible.’
The mother said she will transform the caravan into a safe space so families could feel like they are comfortable in their own ‘home away from home’ (pictured the caravan before renovations)
The mother said she will transform the caravan into a safe space for families.
‘We want the caravan to feel like a positive experience, a home away from home, a temporary stop on the way to their new beginning,’ she said.
‘So we’re raising funds to fully renovate the space. The caravan will be filled with everything you need, including a fridge, TV and kids toys.’
Ms Potter plans to have numerous caravans for those seeking refuge from domestic violence.
‘We will be reaching out and working with aligned charity partners and businesses who wish to contribute and work with us,’ she said.
For support 24/7, please call White Ribbon Australia on 1800 737 732.