The Painful Link Between Domestic Violence and Homelessness Among Women and Children
One of the major issues so many affluent countries face is inequality in terms of the distribution of resources. In 2017-2018, the specialist homelessness service in Australia recorded 121,000 people who sought their services. These enquiries are from people experiencing domestic violence and mostly females. According to data gathered, out of four individuals who are seeking out of the domestic violence they have been experiencing, three are women.
Family violence is such a problematic and painful experience anyone could ever have, and it doesn’t discriminate. Although females are commonly at the receiving end of such violence, so many men have reported their own experiences as well. Last year, when the pandemic happened, so many of us were forced indoors all day every day. This includes those in abusive relationships. During the first weeks of lockdown, a significant increase in Google searches about domestic violence was recorded. In fact, it reached a 75% increase.
What is Domestic Violence and Family Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as any acts of violence that happen between individuals in an intimate relationship. Family violence refers to violence between family members which includes child/parent/elder abuse. Some forms of domestic and family abuse may come in the form of emotional, verbal, physical, economic, social, psychological, spiritual, and sexual abuse.
Link Between Domestic Violence and Homelessness
So the question is, what does domestic violence have anything to do with homelessness?
Data gathered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed that 42 percent of all the clients that reached out to specialist homelessness services went through hardships because of family and domestic violence. It turns out that the most common reason given by that those who sought or are seeking help from these services is family and domestic violence. Family violence creates a hindrance in a person’s development, and women and their children, want to escape the terrible situation they are in. unfortunately, homelessness occurs because of the lack of secure housing available.
Social Isolation and Lack of Financial Resources
While for some, home isolation because of the pandemic brought them closer to their family, some women were not that fortunate. We cannot separate homelessness and financial independence, and since most women are at higher risk of domestic abuse, they are most likely to experience financial hardships. Leaving the family home would due to violence mean starting all over again. And if they are leaving with their children, all the more reason to find a safe place for them. It is important to understand that a healthy environment is crucial for children to grow up as better individuals and as part of a functioning society.
Homelessness is such a huge problem so many countries are trying to resolve. Steps are being made but there’s still so much to do. Putting long-term solutions in place must be planned carefully and wisely, but right now, temporary housing is an efficient step in ending homelessness. As a community, we have to provide help to those who need it the most. There is no better way to extend help than to support agencies and programs catered to provide safe and sustainable housing for the less fortunate and abused individuals. By coming together, we can change the lives of so many people not just for the time being but for the years to come.