McAuley wants to assist women and children who have experienced family violence to remain in their home or community, as safely as possible. Our research shows that the drift into homelessness after family violence can be prevented by a changed community focus — on women’s ability to stay, safely, in the family home rather than being forced to ‘flee’. There is a strong and complex connection between family violence and homelessness. Victoria has the strongest association between family violence and homelessness of any state, with 44% of presentations to homelessness services being because of family violence. McAuley has gathered key stakeholders from across the service systems to undertake a project that will identify areas for intervention, to ensure that women and children who have experienced family violence are able to remain or return to their home, or a home of their choice. McAuley will lead the project which will map and identify the parts of the family violence, justice and housing systems that prevent women and children from being able to stay safe at home and thereby risking the outcome of homelessness. This process will identify key areas to be addressed and will determine where to focus sector efforts in resolving blockages and barriers. Also critical to the project is understanding the data gathered through different agencies and women with lived experience. McAuley and sector stakeholders have contributed relevant data to underpin the beginning of this work.
Victim-survivors and their children, mainly women and children, have a right to be better supported to be able to remain safely in their homes. A comprehensive ‘Safe at Home’ approach will further reduce violence and address the single most common driver of homelessness in Victoria. The systems mapping component of this project will help identify focused interventions which can have significant effects in ensuring women's safety in the home. By understanding a complex problem with multiple causes, through a systems map - it will aid understanding of what’s working well, what’s not and what should change. We will be better placed to determine where government and the sector can focus their efforts in resolving the blockages and barriers of the family violence and housing systems. The outcome of the data analysis of this project will help to establish targets that will be applied to an enhanced safe at home model in Victoria.
While this project is led by McAuley, the work is informed by a reference group which has been established and represents the crucial parts of the safe at home system. McAuley and the group members have contributed relevant data to underpin the work and the group will continue to gather such data and case studies to inform their progress. Victim-survivor views are also being collated alongside this work. The final outcomes and recommendations of this project will be made public and used to inform sector stakeholders and the community of what work needs to be done to better assist women and children to remain safely in their homes and communities'.