Women and children without permanent residency experiencing family violence

Women and children without permanent residency who experience family violence face numerable and compounding barriers to safety in Australia, including access to safe and secure housing for themselves and their children. Women without permanent residency are impacted by visa requirements which restrict their access to income and support services.

A critical lack of safe, ongoing accommodation increases women’s dependence on, and inability to leave, violent partners, ex-partners or family members. The significant shortfall in crisis accommodation results in a heavy reliance by the family violence and homelessness sectors on ‘ad hoc’ accommodation, such as motels. Demand for crisis accommodation is compounded by a lack of affordable long-term housing options for victim-survivors and their dependents to safely exit into.

This paper has involved interviewing family violence workers from safe steps and other services about their experiences working with women without permanent residency, and speaking directly to victim-survivors and includes wide-ranging recommendations for government and service providers.

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