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Monday, 08 February 2016 20:14

Study highlights domestic abuse and homelessness link

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women abuseA recently published study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed that fleeing domestic and family violence is is a major cause of homelessness in Australia, according to a media release.

The report, Domestic and family violence and homelessness 2011–12 to 2013–14, is the first of its kind to examine multiple years of homelessness data.

The report shows that around 520,000 Australians accessed homelessness services over the three years to 2013–14, with 187,000 (36%) being adults and children seeking assistance due to domestic and family violence.

"Domestic and family violence cause considerable disruption to the lives of Australian families, with many affected seeking alternative accommodation; this puts them at an increased risk of falling into homelessness," said AIHW spokesperson Mr Tim Beard.

Majority of adult clients who sought assistance because of domestic and family violence were women. Over the 3 years examined, 110,000 women aged over 18 sought assistance, compared with 12,000 men. Over 45,000 of the client group were women with children, and nearly 24,000 were young women (aged 15–24) presenting alone.

"Domestic and family violence makes women and children particularly vulnerable to homelessness, as leaving a violent situation sometimes means leaving the family home," said Mr Beard.

Read the media release "Over one-third of specialist homelessness clients seek domestic and family violence support" in full.

Read the report, "Domestic and family violence and homelessness 2011–12 to 2013–14."