Domestic and family violence is a major cause of homelessness in Australia.

It increases vulnerability to homelessness in two primary ways: firstly, violence removes the sense of safety and belonging associated with the home; and secondly, leaving a violent situation usually requires leaving the family home (Chamberlain & Johnson 2013).

People who leave their home because of domestic and family violence often experience severe social and personal disruption, poorer housing conditions and financial disadvantage (Spinney & Blandy 2011). In recognition of this, federal and state/territory governments have introduced programs which aim to break the link between domestic and family violence and homelessness by focusing on ways in which those victims of domestic and family violence can safely remain in their family home.

People who experience domestic and family violence can come from a range of socioeconomic groups and can have vastly different life experiences and situations. The analysis presented in this web report explores for the first time the various characteristics of those people experiencing domestic and family violence who presented to specialist homelessness services in Australia during in the 3-year period from 2011–12 to 2013–14.

If you are experiencing domestic or family violence or know someone who is, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit the 1800RESPECT website.