Family violence is the most common reason that women and children become homeless.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of people accessing Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) agencies in Victoria in 2017-18 listed family violence as their primary reason for seeking support. This is compared to only 31 per cent in 2014-15 when Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence released its report. Nearly half of the people who reported experiencing family violence were single parents and the vast majority (94 per cent) were female.
The increase in family violence-related presentations is likely to be a positive indication. It is a sign that Victoria’s family violence reforms are enabling more people to come forward and seek help. However, the increased awareness of family violence among the community means that the increase in demand is unlikely to wane. The Victorian Government needs to plan accordingly.