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Maggy's Spring update

At the end of June, I attended an affordable housing conference and thought you may find some of the statistics of interest:

  • Homelessness in NSW has increased by 37% in the last 2 years (ABS census 14.3.18).
  • Of this, 33% has been attributed to domestic violence.
  • There is an alarming increase in homelessness among the over 55s. People aged 55 to 74 are now the fastest growing age cohort experiencing homelessness (55% of which is due to "elder abuse").
  • Homelessness services users increased by 25% over 2016 – 2018, however government expenditure on homelessness services in the same time decreased by 7%.
  • Applications for social housing increased by 29%, whereas supply of social housing increased by only 3%.
  • In 2016 in NSW 17, 5000 children aged 12 - 18 presented unaccompanied to a homelessness service. One third of these children were under 16.

Also, on August 2nd, I attended the Domestic Violence Conference that was held in Sydney where I learned that

  • There has been a 104% increase in domestic violence in the last 5 years.
  • In 2017, there were 43,693 clients supported by domestic violence services in NSW
  • In the last 5 years there has been a 57% increase in domestic violence services to children aged under 16.
  • In 2017, in NSW, there were 35,372 cases of domestic violence services provided to children under the age of 16.

These statistics are clearly alarming, especially when added to the statistics on domestic violence:

  • Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness in women and children.
  • In Australia, one in four children are exposed to domestic violence.
  • Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
  • A woman killed by her partner is most likely to be killed in her home.

I don’t share these statistics to distress or shock you, but rather to highlight the enormity of the problem of domestic violence and homelessness in Australia. There is much work to be done and we are proud at Mary’s House to be contributing to the solution.

Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate – it is found in every socio-economic and ethnic group across Australia. In late July we took three calls in one week from women from Mosman and to date the women who have stayed at Mary’s House have been from 13 different ethnic backgrounds. We will continue to support all of these women to find a safe way to start a new life, free of violence and fear.

Together we can make a difference.

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