A rescue Home was a place where, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, young women who were sexually active outside marriage might be sent to be reformed. Sometimes single mothers gave birth in rescue Homes.
The rescue movement, an offshoot of Evangelical Christianity, established the first rescue Homes. Members of the movement aimed to reform young women they considered to be promiscuous through prayer and hard work. They modelled the Homes on the London Magdalen Asylum where the young women could be reformed and, if pregnant, give birth.
The Van Diemen's Land Asylum for the Protection of Destitute and Unfortunate Females, established in 1848, was the first Tasmanian Home. From 1856 to 1890, four or five of these Homes opened but all failed through lack of funds. More financially sound and long-lasting Homes, run by both Protestants and Catholics, opened in the 1890s.
Sources used to compile this entry: Brown, Joan C., 'Poverty is not a crime': the development of social services in Tasmania, 1803-1900, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Hobart, 1972, 192 pp.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 21 October 2011, Last modified: 2 March 2015