We met Sarah over a year ago when we first launched Street Peace.  Her story deeply impacted us.  She grew up in a multi-cultural home – her life was hectic. She loved her father, but he was absent for most of her childhood, incarcerated in prison. She spoke fondly of him, sadly he died only a few years after he was released from prison. She was still a young girl.

At this time, Sarah lived with her single mother who suffered from her own mental health issues and substance abuse.  Their relationship was unpredictable and volatile.  They clashed wills and fought a lot. From the young age of five, she was sexually abused by a family friend, who was her after school carer, while her mother worked.  This went on for a number of years, eventually, the abuse was discovered, and the family took the perpetrator to court.

Sarah was kicked out of home by her mother at the tender age of thirteen. That night two men found her on the streets and raped her. 

She then had to sleep rough, disengaged from education, and very depressed. Her life was a vicious spiral of drugs, relationships, and disappointments. She found a form of community with the other kids on the streets of Frankston.

When we first met her, we found a girl who desperately needed someone she could trust, someone that would listen to her and be there for her. This didn’t happen overnight, during this period of relationship building, she couch-surfed and had to move multiple times, she’s had dozens of relationships, overdosed multiple times, and been on a weeklong drug-fueled bender.  Yet throughout these bad times, the team at Street Peace managed to develop an honest and caring relationship with her. We have helped her move to her own accommodation which she secured, bought her groceries, mentored her, and loved her. 

Sarah still has a long way to go but is moving forward with her life.  We regularly catch up with her and she is part of our Uber Chats Mentoring program.  We are in it for the long haul and she has become like family to us.