Ms Ashleigh Husband, Social Worker at Brisbane Youth Service to join us.

November 28, 2016

The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held over 5-7 December at the Mercure Brisbane, QLD. Ms Ashleigh Husband, Social Worker at Brisbane Youth Service will join us at the conference to discuss ‘Domestic violence outside the domestic sphere: An organisational response to Domestic violence occurring during homelessness in young people’.

Considerable research and literature discusses domestic violence (DV) as a cause of homelessness. Limited literature explores DV occurring during homelessness in young people.  Even the term ‘domestic violence’ makes an assumption about the spatial environment in which DV occurs, which can result in people who are experiencing DV during homelessness being overlooked.  The lack of research regarding co-occurring DV and homelessness in young people is reflected in domestic and family violence literature, which primarily examines the experiences of adult women and their children who were housed prior to leaving a violent relationship.  Additionally, discussion regarding co-occurring DV and homelessness are absent in both the The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children and the Rudd Government’s ‘White paper on homelessness’.

Brisbane Youth Service (BYS), a mainstream youth service in the homelessness sector, has supported many young people experiencing DV during homelessness.  This has included young people who were either experiencing or perpetrating violence.  Young women experiencing violence during homelessness have reported a number of unique challenges including difficulty leaving their partner due to fear that they will experience violence from other people, seeking out partners who are known to be violent or intimidating in order to protect themselves from other men whilst living on the streets, and having difficulty finding safe spaces away from their partner.

This presentation seeks to share the learnings and reflections regarding BYS’s attempts to hold young people perpetrating violence accountable, respond appropriately to people experiencing violence, support staff and ensure that organisational responses do not inadvertently normalise violence.  It is hoped that the presentation can contribute to a developing awareness regarding young people’s experiences of domestic violence during homelessness and demonstrate that despite the complexity of this work there is much opportunity to develop practice to offer young people an appropriate response.

Ash holds a Bachelor of Social Work and is passionate about feminist practice and supporting young people who have experienced homelessness, trauma and disadvantage. Ash has experience working in the youth sector and currently works as a Drug Intervention and Rehabilitation Worker at Brisbane Youth Service. Through her work with young people who are homeless, Ash has developed a particular interest in domestic violence that occurs in the context of homelessness. Ash is also particularly enthusiastic about seeking feedback and drawing on the wisdom of the people she works with in order to provide more responsive and inclusive services. She hopes that her experience working with young women who are homeless will assist her to support Zig Zag to continue in their important work.

For more information on the conference and to secure your spot, please visit the conference website.


Add your Comment