Female homelessness on International Women’s Day

| March 2, 2012
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On International Women’s Day 2012 Homelessness Australia wants us to remember that women make up almost half of those experiencing homelessness in Australia.

According to Homelessness Australia CEO Nicole Lawder, about 46,000 women are homeless in Australia on any given night and more than 84,000 women were supported by specialist homelessness services last year.

“Escaping domestic and family violence is the most often cited reason for seeking help from homelessness services,” she says.

Women can experience homelessness at many different points of their life. Young women are the most likely to use homelessness services with almost one in 40 young women aged between 15 to 19 staying in a homelessness service in 2010/11, a significant increase on the 2009/10 figures.

“Women often face homelessness with their children. A large percentage of the children who accompany an adult to a homelessness service are in the care of a woman, usually their mother, escaping domestic violence,” says Lawder.

“High numbers of women with very young children are supported by homelessness services each year – last year one in 38 children aged up to four were supported while escaping violence. Addressing and reducing domestic violence will be integral to achieving the Government’s target of halving homelessness by 2020.”

The Federal Government recently released the White Paper on Homelessness and the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

The theme of the United Nations’ International Women’s Day 2012 is Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment.