Insufficient support services for young women had made them more vulnerable to violence, according to the manager of the Society of St Vincent de Paul's Marian House, Ms Carol Alcock, The Catholic Weekly reports.
    "There are hardly any services available for (young women)," Ms Alcock said. "Young single women on pensions cannot afford rent. Not all refuges will take single women.
    "So many of these people are on the streets. And if you are on the streets you are in a climate where there is a lot of violence."
    Ms Alcock's comments came in response to an analysis of national survey data by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research that found young women between the ages of 18 and 24 who had been abused and were on government benefits faced an 85 per cent chance of being physically assaulted or threatened with violence within the next 12 months.
    She said the findings highlighted an urgent need for more services for single women and increased government funding for family support services. Ms Alcock also said the survey confirmed suspicions that women who were abused as children or adults were more likely to be victims of violence. "85 per cent of people on the streets have been sexually abused as children," she said.
    "The link is a lack of self-esteem. They often feel that they have little power over what happens to them."

2:28pm 4/5/99 / Catholic Communications Adelaide


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