Women experiencing homelessness are at a far greater risk of violence and threats to their safety than women in the general population.
This can take the form of family violence, sexual assault or exploitation from both intimate partners and strangers.
From multiple reports from Juno’s clients, we know that sexual harassment, physical violence, and rape is a common experience for women experiencing homelessness. This is largely due to living in precarious, unsafe, mixed accommodation settings.
Under-resourcing of the family violence system means that too often, only women and non-binary people in imminent threats of danger can access a tailored, gender-specific housing response. Unfortunately, most victim survivors continue to be seen through generalist homelessness services that are often not equipped to assess their family violence and high-risk safety concerns.
These realities make a gender-neutral approach to housing and homelessness grossly inadequate. Policies must consider the intersection between family violence and homelessness necessary to provide responses that promote safety, security and wellbeing.
These factors, coupled with the chronic shortage of affordable private rentals, extreme lack of social housing and unsuitable crisis accommodation, mean victim survivors regularly live in unsafe, temporary housing where they remain vulnerable to homelessness.
This needs to change.
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