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Vinnies tells how domestic violence affects its clients

A new report from the St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW/ACT) has highlighted the widespead impact domestic violence has on people it visits.

The report, titled Home is Where the Heartache Is, suggests domestic violence is much more than a crime. It has a particular impact on young people and children, causing financial hardship, homelessness, and mental health problems.

Domestic violence includes verbal abuse, social abuse (isolating a woman from family and friends), emotional abuse (undermining a woman's self-esteem), sexual abuse, and financial abuse (forced dependence on the man for money). Vinnies says 20,000 Australian women seek shelter in refuges as a result of domestic violence, and it sees the problem every day in its own refuges.

The report calls on the Government to provide more community housing so St Vincent de Paul and other organisations like it can resettle greater numbers of women and children, as well as an increase in support staff and an ongoing public awareness-raising campaign.

The report was launched yesterday together with the Society's annual Winter Appeal, by comedian Wendy Harmer.

Home is Where the Heartache Is (text of SVDP report)


8 May 2002