AHURI News

Examining the role of housing in domestic and family violence at the National Housing Conference

The role of housing in domestic and family violence was examined at #NHCSydney

21 Dec 2017

At the National Housing Conference, ABC journalist Emma Alberici facillitated the plenary session, 'The safe house: The role of housing in domestic and family violence', which featured a keynote address from Dr Heather Nancarrow, Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), together with panellists Hon Pru Goward MP, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, NSW; Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services; Associate Professor kylie valentine, University of New South Wales; and David Fisher, Housing Plus.

Emma Alberici, in her opening comments, emphasised that the recent Royal Commission into Domestic violence stated ‘responding to housing needs is vital in responding to domestic violence’ and that more than one million women are affected by forms of domestic violence each year.

In her address, Dr Nancarrow outlined the broad view of government and community initiatives and service programs, including six national outcomes the coming from the National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children.

Dr Nancarrow also highlighted that ANROWS research shows without housing and economic support women are more likely to return to the violent partner, and that leaving a violent partner doesn’t necessarily end the violence as violence may escalate increasing the risk for homicide.

The panellists commended the government programs tackling domestic violence, as well as acknowledging that some of the requirements to help a woman escape a violent partner are economic security, affordable housing (both crisis and long term), affordable childcare, a police and justice system that is committed to preventing domestic violence and a social services system that acts quickly and compassionately for people who present suffering from domestic and family violence.

The video of this vital session is embedded above or available via the AHURI youtube channel.