Housing policy fails the victims

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

DOMESTIC violence is real live terrorism for a huge number of our women and children.

Every year dozens upon dozens of women are killed by their partners. Every week hundreds upon hundreds of women are bashed or suffer other physical injury, often hospitalisation, from abusive and violent men.

Many more opt to suffer in silence through fear for their kids and continue to live in terror with their violent partners.

Your story of the woman and children forced to sleep in an office at the police station illustrates that there is a desperate shortage of refuge accommodation for women and children – and for that matter a glaring lack of services for the homeless including emergency youth accommodation.

The Liberal government slashed the number of specialist homeless services across NSW by more than half through its Going Home Staying Home program (GHSH) last year. Shoalhaven homelessness services which lost funding included some which helped women fleeing domestic violence to find permanent accommodation, jobs, training and access financial assistance.

The result is that it is taking women longer to be able to move out of emergency shelters or they find they have no alternative but to return to the abusive household. The state government’s GHSH policy is a misnomer. It is ill-conceived and does not properly or effectively confront the crises that stare us all in the face. Our local MPs owe it to the most vulnerable in our community to urge their political masters to think again and to take positive action to face up to these very basic issues.

G. Thompson,

Shoalhaven Heads

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