16 Days Against Violence Campaign Day 7

Homelessness is never the safer option 

Lack of access to a range of safe and affordable housing options is a critical factor in women either staying in violent relationships or becoming homeless when they leave.

Family violence is the main reason why women, children and young people seek support from homelessness services. Without additional supply of safe and affordable housing options, in all forms, the family violence crisis will go unaddressed.

Our recommendations to end family violence and prevent women and children slipping into homelessness include government investment in housing for both temporary and long-term accommodation for women and children, where they can be safe while planning to return home safely or relocate.

McAuley Community Services for Women suggests that funding should also be made available for access to financial counselling and employment/ education programs. This would be similar to the support given to Victorians after the Black Saturday bushfires.

“The Federal Government also has a major role to play in ending family violence,” said Jocelyn Bignold, CEO of  McAuley Community Services for Women.

“We would like to see the Household Organisational Management Expenses Advice program extended to family violence services to help women maintain independent housing,” she said.

McAuley Community Services for Women also maintains that an effective national housing strategy should be negotiated, in line with the Senate Economics Reference Committee paper.