research into trauma and homelessness uses ‘biographies of violence’ to
understand how homeless people manage and survive repeated episodes of violence
throughout their lives.
Rough Living: Surviving Violence
and Homelessness draws on the life stories of six men and six women
experiencing homelessness in Sydney. These ‘biographies of violence’ reveal the
long-term impacts of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
Rough Living report found that:
- 11 participants reported childhood sexual and physical
abuse perpetrated mostly by parents and step-parents but also by siblings;
- 8 participants described childhoods marked by their
parents’ relationship breakdowns and separation, addiction, mental illness,
housing instability, and inability and unwillingness to care for their children;
- 7 participants reported witnessing their parents’
domestic violence and 5 were also exposed to the physical and sexual abuse of
report challenges public perceptions that homeless people somehow deserve the
violence they experience because of their risky lifestyles,’ said the CEO of
the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), Edward Santow,
‘Rough Living demands that we re-examine
entrenched misunderstandings about violence and homelessness and service
delivery to vulnerable groups,’ Mr Santow said.
Rough Living was
commissioned by the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (a joint
project of PIAC and the Public Interest Law Clearing House). The research was
conducted by Dr Catherine Robinson from the University of Technology Sydney,
and was funded by PIAC.
Rough Living will be launched
at 10am on Wednesday 15 December 2010.
Location: Oznam Learning Centre, 99 Forbes
Street, Wolloomooloo, Sydney.
Media are invited to attend.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, PIAC Media and Communications Officer. Ph: (02) 8898 6532; M: 0400110169.