Rough living: Surviving violence and homelessness

UTS e press
Publication Type:
2010, 1
Issue Date:
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This research project emerged in response to the growing number of informal narratives of violent victimisation encountered by staff of Homeless Persons' Legal Service (HPLS) in their work with homeless clients and current and former homeless advocates in Sydney, New South Wales. Despite consistent reports of repeated experiences of violence occurring both before and whilst living homeless, it was observed that little current local documentation or wider policy acknowledgment of these exists. Disturbingly, reports about episodes of violence revealed that positive engagement with responding emergency and support services was rare and in many cases was never even sought, and that the opportunity for the follow-up of past traumatic events was even rarer. Most distressing, however, was the perception identified amongst victims that often brutal and repetitive victimisation was a `normal and accepted part of everyday life in the past and present, and an expected part of everyday life in the future.
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