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Family and Domestic Violence and Homelessness

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Jacqueline Martyn

on 14 April 2013

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Transcript of Family and Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Presented by Jacqueline Martyn Definitions Statistics and Facts How Policy Influences Services Theory and Practice The Role of Social Workers Domestic and Family Violence:
- Domestic violence is violence between spouses
When children are subjected to domestic violence, the violence is then considered to be family violence
- Family violence is defined by the Family Law Act 1975 as threatening or intimidating behavior towards another family member
- Family violence can be experienced between spouses, abuse and neglect of children, parental abuse; abuse of a parent from a child or abuse and violence between siblings
- Violence and abuse can be experienced in many ways, including: neglect, threats, physical, psychological, sexual, verbal, degrading remarks and financial Family and Domestic Violence and Homelessness References:
Australia Homelessness Taskforce. (2008).The road home: A national approach to reducing homelessness. Canberra, A.C.T: Dept. of Families,
Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Domestic violence a major factor in homelessness among women and children. Retrieved
Thursday 28th March, 2013, from http://www.aihw.gov.au/media-release-detail/?id=6442464600
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. (2008). Women, Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness.
Flinders Institute for Housing Urban and Regional Research
Fairtlough, A. (2006). Social Work with Children affected by Domestic Violence: an analysis of policy and practice implications. Journal of
Emotional Abuse. (6)1 pp. 25-47
Family Law Court; Commonwealth of Australia. Family Law Act 1975. Retrieved Thursday 28th March, 2013, from
The Victorian Women's Trust. Published April 2nd, 2012
Heaven, L. (2009). Domestic Violence and Homelessness. Parity. (22)10 pp. 53- 54
Kellly, R. (2011). Children's exposure to domestic violence in Australia. Trends and issues in Criminal Justice. (419) pp. 1-7
Murray, S. (2007). Homelessness and Domestic Violence Social Policy in Australia: Getting Domestic Violence on the Policy Agenda. RMIT
University. (20)10 pp. 17-18
Nunan, C. (2009). Women Domestic Violence and Homelessness. Parity. (22)10 pp. 7-9
Powell, A. & Murray, S. (2008). Children and Domestic Violence: Constructing A Policy Problem in Australia and New Zealand. RMIT University,
Melbourne. (17)4 pp. 453- 473 My role as the social worker today is to present relevant information to a group of fellow social workers (the class) who work for a homeless organisation and who are interested in understanding the relationship between homelessness and domestic violence Homelessness:
- Homelessness is seen as an individual(s) whom have inadequate access to safe and secure housing
- Anyone can experience homelessness
- There are three main types of homelessness, defined by the cultural definition:
Tertiary - Primary Homelessness:
People who experience primary homelessness live on the street, in their car, in the park, out at the dam or in any other substitute dwelling with no fixed address
- Secondary Homelessness:
Secondary homelessness are people who move from one place to another. Their accommodation is temporary and generally involves staying with friends and family. Also considered to be ‘couch surfing’
- Tertiary Homelessness:
Tertiary homelessness is people who live in shared accommodation, boarding houses and caravan parks, with no fixed address and no secure lease Please keep in mind that some of these stats are from SAAP data and census data, so results may vary. The stats are only an estimate. It is also important to consider that it is difficult to truly account for the amount of people who are experiencing homelessness 33% of people who are homelessness are escaping domestic violence 1 in 6 women over the age of 15 have experienced or been threatened by physical or sexual violence 66% of children who are homeless have accompanied women who were escaping domestic violence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are significantly over represented in women and children who are homeless as a result of domestic violence, accounting for 24% of people experiencing homelessness Case Study
Julia (35) presents to your services with her three children; Alex (15) Sally (12) and Sophie (10). This is the seventh time that Julia has presented to your services, after leaving her abusive partner Karl (37). Julia has stated she “is serious about leaving Karl this time”. Julia informed you, as the worker that she left Karl this time because he “had smacked Alex across the head... this was the first time he has ever hit any of the children...” Julia has presented to the services as leaving a family violence situation and is homeless as the result of leaving her family home, with her children. Julia and her children have been staying at a friend’s house; however, this is temporary as the house is very crowded. Julia has stated that Karl “gets angry when he drinks” otherwise he is a “loving and caring father”. Strengths; It is important to work with clients in acknowledging strengths and working to incorporating them into the pro-activeness of the client in achieving their goals Attachment; It is critical to also consider the attachment, particularly with clients who have experienced domestic or family violence Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
Without the basic psychological and safety needs being meet, it is difficult for other needs to be meet e.g. safety and shelter Eco systems theory
It is important to consider the wider context of the clients environment. Looking at the structures which influence the client and the structures which the client has influence and control over. This also extends to understanding and considering the clients history of abuse and possible childhood experiences - Case management; support plan
- Set goals and timelines
- Advocacy
- Referral to relevant services e.g. counseling and support groups
- Provide information about services
- Strength based practice
- Encourage engagement
- To consider the possible challenges when working with clients and to address them as needed
- To consider values and ethics in practice
- To acknowledge the influence of legislation and policies - Since the 1970's a more feminist approach has been adapted in Australia
- Focuses priority of the safety of the women and children
- Have been changes in Women’s refuge services provided
- Increase in support groups and programs for women and children who have experienced violence
- Increase in the understanding of the affects and trauma for women and children who have experienced family violence
- There have been a change with services now providing support to both victims of sexual abuse and family violence
- Changes with women and children remaining in their home and the perpetrator being removed However some disadvantages are:
- Homeless policies don’t fully recognise the complex issues women and children have experienced from violence
- Policies can have good intentions however, there are gaps in the implementation of policies and service delivery Considering a Feminists approach is also important, looking at the oppression of women and children.
Gender roles and socialisation When working with clients who have been exposed to trauma it is important to consider trauma theory and cumulative harm
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