Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day and embrace the theme of #Balance for Better. Gender equality means many things to many people and one of the things that is particularly important to us at Mary’s House is the reduction in violence against women that comes about as a result of gender equality.
Today is World Human Rights Day. This marks the final day of the 16 Days of Activism, which began on November 25 with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The 16 days of Activism is a UN campaign to raise awareness about gender based violence, challenge discriminatory attitudes and call for improved laws and services to end violence against women.
At the end of June, I attended an affordable housing conference and thought you may find some of the statistics of interest:
- Homelessness in NSW has increased by 37% in the last 2 years (ABS census 14.3.18).
- Of this, 33% has been attributed to domestic violence.
- There is an alarming increase in homelessness among the over 55s. People aged 55 to 74 are now the fastest growing age cohort experiencing homelessness (55% of which is due to "elder abuse").
- Homelessness services users increased by 25% over 2016 – 2018, however government expenditure on homelessness services in the same time decreased by 7%.
- Applications for social housing increased by 29%, whereas supply of social housing increased by only 3%.
- In 2016 in NSW 17, 5000 children aged 12 - 18 presented unaccompanied to a homelessness service. One third of these children were under 16.
Mary's House has now been open for 15 months. In that time we have directly helped 20 women and their families with a safe haven for an average of three months and facilitated them to start a new life. We continue to support a number of these women through our ongoing outreach program. Through our intake and referral process we have helped a further 100 women find appropriate support. Each day we refer at least one women on to the appropriate service for them.