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What housing insecurity means for our clients

Relieving housing insecurity is a critical part of supporting recovery for women affected by domestic and family violence


At Justice Support Centre, many of our clients are women overcoming abuse to find new safety and new lives for themselves and their children. Our Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Workers dedicate themselves to providing support to clients so they can recover and move forward.

Housing insecurity is one of the major barriers our clients face in this process. That’s why Investment to ensure victim-survivors have a secure roof over their heads is so critical to their recovery.

Sandra Shore, Acting Manager of our domestic violence casework teams, shared the story of one client who, after escaping an abusive relationship, was facing significant health issues and housing insecurity.

“We had supported this client* in the past, and she knew that she could call us back if she ever needed us. She has been recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition and due to this unexpected diagnosis, she became very depressed, anxious, and unable to pay her rent as she had to pay extra health expenses,” says Sandra.

“She and her children have experienced a long history of domestic violence, and they have been attending counselling sessions to heal. They had relocated to this property a few months ago and they both feel safe and happy to call this new place ‘home’. However, they have been at risk of becoming homeless and losing their ‘safe place’ after the real estate threatened to take them to the tribunal to vacate the property if they didn’t pay the arrears over the weekend.”

Sandra and her team, through our Staying Home Leaving Violence service, were able to assist this family with financial support to address the rental arrears, so they could stay in their new home. The team also provided emotional support, support to discuss a safety plan and connected the family to other services they needed.

The client sent a text message in thanks:

From my whole heart. I would like to say thank you so much for your kindness, time, understanding and support. I will forever be grateful & thankful for what you have done for me and my son. Instead of sitting at home stressed, and depressed not knowing what to do or where my children & I would go and the thought of having to let them down & put them in this situation has been killing me inside. Also having my operation and nowhere to come home too. You have just taken all this emotion away from me and put a happy smile on my face & emotional tears. I hope you know how much of an impact you have on me and other women like me. You are truly a blessing and credit to your workplace. Thank you again. Take care and I wish the best for you :) I am happy and excited that everyone can read my testimony on how amazing you truly are and that should be shared and acknowledged and with the love and compassion you have for your work position and your clients. Thank you again.

Client of our Staying Home Leaving Violence service

Our Domestic and Family Violence Specialists work with women at some of the hardest moments of their lives. Many of our clients are not only recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of violence, they are also facing housing stress, financial issues and barriers to accessing the services they need.

By providing emotional support and assistance to meet the immediate needs of the family, our domestic and family violence teams aim to give women and their children the support they need to focus on recovery and healing from the violence they have experienced.

“When I receive messages from clients, it reassures me that we are in this role for a reason and how much change and impact we have on people’s lives,” says Sandra.

Hearing this client’s story, it is obvious the enormous impact that secure housing has on the recovery journey for victim-survivors. ANROWS has summarised research in this area that found:

  • Over 50% of women who permanently left a previous violent partner reported that they, and not their partner, moved out of the home they shared.
  • In one study, 60% of women who had separated from their partners reported experiencing housing stress, post-separation.

When we agree that every woman deserves to be safe, we must agree that every woman deserves a safe roof over their head.

As part of the NSW Women’s Alliance, Justice Support Centre has joined the call for all NSW political parties to commit to Action to End Gendered Violence. As one of seven calls to action, we’re asking for a commitment to: “Safe and appropriate housing for everybody experiencing and recovering from sexual, domestic and family violence.”

To join this critical campaign, you can:

*Some details have been changed to protect client confidentiality

Our Staying Home Leaving Violence Service

This service supports women in the Burwood, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield and Liverpool areas who have left an abusive relationship to protect themselves from further abuse and pursue their long-term goals.

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Domestic and family violence support

We offer FREE support services for women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence.

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News and advocacy

We advocate to government to improve outcomes for our clients. Find out about our latest advocacy, media releases and policy submissions.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands, skies and waterways in which we live and work, the Gadigal, Cabrogal, Darug and Eora people. We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, partners and community leaders.

Head office

Level 4, 2-14 Meredith St, Bankstown
Darug & Eora Country, NSW 2200

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