Working Toward a Future where Woman and Children can be Safe at Home

McAuley Community Services for Women

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

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.

Expected Outcomes

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.

Project Data & Lessons

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'.

Project Dates

Project Commences: July 1, 2021
Project Completes: December 1, 2021

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Other Support Opportunities
Impact investment, In-kind contributions, Pro bono services

Organisation Details

McAuley Community Services for Women
ABN: 85696671223


Kerrie Soraghan
Phone: 0422966513

About McAuley Community Services for Women

McAuley Community Services for Women’s mission is to create a world that enables women and children to participate in society on their own terms through innovative services, advocacy and a caring community … so violence and homelessness can be eradicated. Our organisation supports women and their children by providing, 24/7 crisis support , temporary accommodation, long term housing and social services such as health, legal and employment support. The women needing support have experienced, or are at immediate risk of, serious harm: through physical and emotional violence, threats, sexual assault, and stalking. We work alongside them to plan their move towards a life free from violence. We also operate McAuley House, Footscray, Victoria’s first purpose-built accommodation for women who are homeless, many of whom have also experienced family violence. It is a place for rest, recovery and reconnection, as well as a welcoming community hub. This model has been expanded into Ballarat.

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