Martin Place’s recent tent city has highlighted the plight of homeless people in search of finding stable and lasting accommodation.
Sadly, the face of homelessness is changing, with more and more women finding themselves without a home.
A large proportion of this growing and vulnerable demographic are domestic violence survivors and their children.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, domestic violence makes women and children more susceptible to homelessness in two major ways: firstly, violence removes a sense of safety from the home; and secondly, escaping a violent situation requires the woman and her child/children to leave the family home.
As a society we have been treating domestic violence and homelessness as two separate issues for too long now and I think it is time to ask ourselves the question: “Do our current established domestic violence and homelessness services really meet people’s current needs?”
From my experience, the answer is ‘no’.
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