Is there a blind spot in our domestic violence crisis?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare — the official Australian Government data collection agency for social issues — released a report showing that over the three years from 2011/2 to 2014/5, more than 187,000 people sought help from specialist homelessness services because of domestic and family violence.
In a Daily Telegraph News report by Annabelle Daniel, CEO for Women’s Community Shelters the AIHW data only captures the input from services that are funded by governments and use their computer systems to report on client outcomes. Across the sector, Australia wide, there are a number of small grassroots organisations, local charities and foundations, medium sized networks and even special projects of larger charities which do critical domestic violence and homelessness work, including providing crisis beds and support. Yet, their data is not captured. Their beds aren’t counted. Their important casework is not reported anywhere governments can see it.
Annabelle Daniel says “It’s important we recognise this blind spot because we can’t plan good policy to respond to a problem if we don’t understand the true scale of it. That’s why it’s so important to talk to people in local communities who do work on the front-lines, and who support people with these issues every day”.
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