Increasing numbers of women lack a safe and secure place to call home. But most women who are homeless are “invisible”. You don’t see these vulnerable women sleeping on the streets – most are forced into “couch-surfing”, staying in crisis or temporary accommodation, or sleeping in their cars.
We interviewed past participants in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout and people who have experienced homelessness. The stories of women who are homeless highlight the many forms that homelessness and the attendant vulnerability can take.
The most frequent cause of their homelessness is family violence. From 2015-2017, the number of women hospitalised due to partner assault rose by 23%. In Australia, one woman is killed by a current or previous partner every nine days. A woman is hospitalised because of domestic violence every two hours.
The largest number of homeless women is between the ages of 25 and 34, a number that is increasing year on year.
Our study explores women’s homelessness as part of wider study of the immediate and ripple effects of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout – an annual event where CEOs sleep rough for one night to raise funds and awareness…
SOURCE: Montgomery J, Khan A, and Young L. “‘I didn’t want to be homeless with a baby’: young women share their stories of homelessness” The Conversation, June 20, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia