advocacy for specialised refuges and housing for women

March 2014

The Melbourne Women's Homelessness Prevention Project provides a weekly outreach clinic where women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can receive legal advice and intensive support from social workers for up to three months. The aim is to transition to long term support such as domestic violence counselling, education, employment and other support. Click here to go to Justice Connect website for more information.

Women experiencing mental illness can now access a new women's-only residential prevention and recovery service in Victoria, Australia. This development recognises that mixed-gender mental health facilities can make women vulnerable and unsafe. This new initiative is a much needed provision for women to feel safe and therefore increases the ability to heal.

Among the contributing factors to Kath's homelessness includes getting involved with some "nasty relationships". Kath says, "There is nothing I don't understand about domestic violence. I had cared for and spoilt the men in my life, even though they treated me that way. Now I am alone. There are no more black eyes. There are no more sleepless nights living in fear."

This is an interesting blog to read to begin to understand the plight of women's homelessness.

Power and Control Wheel Psychological Abuse and Coercive Control

As a result of interviewing women in-depth about their experiences of psychological abuse/coercive control by their male partners, I (Clare Murphy PhD) developed a new power and control wheel. The wheel expands upon the Duluth Wheel to include a wider range of non-physical tactics of power and control.

Each night 46,000 Australian women do not have a safe place to sleep. Many of those women have children.

40 per cent of homeless people living in shelters are women.

The largest single cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic and family violence, which overwhelmingly affects women and children.

Most of the women presenting at refuges are homeless due to:

  1. Domestic violence
  2. Mental health issues

If in need of finding a shelter in Australia call 1800 656 463

See the website —