Domestic violence victims facing homelessness for fleeing abusers

HUNDREDS of domestic violence victims across Queensland are facing homelessness after being black-listed for abandoning rental properties in the rush to flee their abusers.

The state’s leading provider of tenancy advice services has been flooded with applications from women forced to break tenancy agreements due to domestic violence.

Trapped in a vicious cycle, vulnerable and abused women are being placed on tenancy databases by real estate agents or landlords because of unpaid debts or property damage caused by their abusers — preventing them from finding further accommodation.

In the Caboolture region alone, 1 in 7 tenancy matters handled by the Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) so far this year involved victims of domestic violence who needed to move for their own safety.

QSTARS tenant advice worker Lloyd Black said more than 100 women had been referred to his organisation from domestic violence services or womens’ shelters in the Moreton Bay shire in the past six months — a significant increase on last year.

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