A Mandurah domestic violence worker says victims are too often becoming homeless and ‘blacklisted’ from rentals, due to their partner trashing the house following an outburst.
Pat Thomas House executive officer Jill Robinson said this was commonplace for women escaping violent relationships.
“They go back and there is a lot of damage, which their partner caused,” she said.
“Imagine that happening two or three times to people who are renting.
“They get blacklisted from renting and end up with about $50,000 debt, because the place is usually under the client’s name.”
Ms Robinson said the women would usually couch surf, until they found proper accommodation.
“They go from friend to family,” she said.
“It is tough, especially for single women.
There are not many beds there either, but they will try and help them with short-term accommodation.Pat Thomas House executive officer Jill Robinson
“There is a lot of support for women with children, because people think of the children.
“But there is a lot of isolation for women on their own, who have been through domestic violence, and are blacklisted from the department.
“It is an awful thing.”
The refuge provides crisis support and accommodation for victims, but only had six rooms.
Ms Robinson said they worked with Entrypoint, who accommodate homeless. But they were also pressed for space.
“There are not many beds there either, but they will try and help them with short-term accommodation,” she said.
Ms Robinson said in recent years there was more awareness about domestic violence and the homelessness that comes from it, and the government was listening.
“They have started to realise this, and are doing better to support the victims,” she said.
A Women’s Council spokeswoman has asked the community to think about families seeking a fresh start during Homelessness Week.
“We know that many women and children seek accommodation, and are often unable to access a bed due to refuges being full,” she said.
“Many women never reach out for assistance, instead, moving in with family or friends.
“All these women and children are homeless and will remain homeless for many months or years.”
To find out how you can help Pat Thomas Refuge, visit website: www.patthomashouse.org.au.