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Record ID: 44ec168c-346a-445b-9655-4118309064f0
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Type: Report
Title: Consultations with victim-survivors: What they told us about ‘safe at home’
Authors: Soraghan, K
ANRA Topic: Housing and homelessness
ANRA Population: General population
Categories: Understanding victimisation and perpetration, and their impacts
Year: 2021
Publisher: McAuley Community Services for Women

McAuley Community Services for Women (McAuley) supports women and children who have experienced family violence and homelessness. In a submission to the 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence, McAuley’s main recommendations centred on the adoption of a ‘safe at home’ approach.

A ‘Safe at Home’ approach addresses this key question: why should victims of violence be the ones to leave? ‘Safe at Home’ is a prevention of homelessness response with safety a key criterion. It has a human rights basis and aims to rectify the injustice of women and children fleeing their homes for their own safety. Victim-survivors are enabled to live safely at home, remaining connected to their communities, schools, and workplaces.

Since the Royal Commission, McAuley has remained concerned at the continuing, and growing, association between leaving a violent relationship and a drift into homelessness for women and children. This link has persisted and worsened even against a backdrop of record investment in family violence services since the Royal Commission, and even though a ‘safe at home’ approach is noted as one of the seven targets of the Victorian Government’s Ten-Year Plan: Victim-survivors will be supported to remain safely in their homes and connected to their community.

In 2021 McAuley initiated a roundtable of services who play a role in supporting those affected by family violence and homelessness. This group has committed to exploring the systemic factors which are preventing women and children from being ‘safe at home’ and developed a systems map.

As part of learning what was happening and what was needed, McAuley consulted with women who have lived experience of family violence and homelessness. This report summarises what we have learnt over the past seven months of hearing their stories and perspectives.

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