How Family Violence Affects Homelessness

Aug 07, 2019

August 5 – 11th is national homelessness week. This week aims to shed a light on homelessness, the issues affecting people experiencing homelessness, and how government and not-for-profit services and programs can help.

While we may associate homelessness with sleeping on the streets, the 2016 ABS showed that only around 7% of homeless people live on the streets. The remainder are often referred to as ‘the hidden homeless’ who sleep in cars, rooming houses, couch surf or stay in temporary accommodation.

Research shows that victims of family and domestic violence are at a higher risk of homelessness then people who do not experience family violence, as they are often forced to flee their homes to avoid abuse. This is also one of the reasons that a person might stay in a violent relationship. Victims will stay with their partner if they feel they have nowhere else to go.

Family violence is the main reason that women and children become homeless and young children and women are the most likely to seek specialist homelessness services as a result of family or domestic violence. In 2017 – 2018 more than 121,000 clients assisted by Specialist Homelessness Services had experienced family or domestic violence, up from 115,000 clients in 2016 -2017. 94% or 94,100 of these people were female, and 22% or 27,000 were male.

SafeChoices often deals with people who are at risk of homelessness, or who fear that by leaving their violent relationship they will become homeless. SafeChoices can offer you confidential advice and work with you to find the best solution for you and your family. We can connect you with housing services and make a plan to keep you safe. If you would like to talk to someone about your situation, you can seek help here (LINK), or call us on 1800 806 189 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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Maryam Amiri

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