Domestic violence victims have nowhere to go

December 11th, 2008 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 11 (IANS) Thousands of women victims of domestic violence are being forced to choose between homelessness and returning to their abusive partners.A study by the Flinders Institute for Housing, Urban and Regional Research (FIHURR) has revealed that every year around 50 percent women are being turned away by the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) due to an acute shortage of emergency housing alternatives.

Conducted by Selina Tually and Debbie Faulkner, along with Cecile Cutler and Michele Slatter, the study claims the housing shortage is the result of a decade of inaction by the government, including a failure to increase sector funding during that time.

The study, which included a literature review and an examination of the support and accommodation needs of women affected by domestic and family violence, also revealed the lack of funding has rendered many services inadequate, said a FIHURR release.

“Domestic violence is becoming a problem not only because of the increasing number of victims, but because these women also have a more complex variety of needs to be met,” Faulkner said.

“Therefore, in addition to the ‘normal’ level of crisis care, these services are also having to deal with the issue of delivering a whole set of ancillary services without the financial support,” she said.

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