When Vicky made the decision to leave her violent partner, she didn’t expect there would be worse to come.
With two children aged four and seven and another on the way, Vicky was forced into homelessness.
For months, Vicky and her children moved between motels, couch surfing with family, and women’s refuges. When the stress and instability of homelessness got too much, Vicky went back.
Eventually she left for good, but had no secure accommodation. Every morning Vicky would take the children to school before spending her days speaking to services, applying for accommodation and looking at rentals she had no way of affording.
“It’s very hard to break out of that cycle. You’re labelled, as a homeless person. You lose confidence and self-esteem. I had suicidal thoughts.” Vicky said of her ordeal.
Eventually Vicky got help and a place to call home, but not before years in and out of homelessness.
Since Vicky found a home, the housing market has only got worse for women fleeing domestic violence.
Rents across Australia have skyrocketed, putting a home out of reach for women on low or modest incomes.
Women cannot rebuild their lives and protect their children without access to safe and secure housing. There is no reason why Australia can not provide safe homes to women and children fleeing violence.
In the lead up to the Women’s Economic Safety Summit and throughout Homelessness Week we are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to invest urgently in social housing to provide a safety net for women fleeing domestic violence.
Can you sign our petition calling on the Federal Government to take action now.