Monday, 8 May 2017

A chilling set of statistics the Turnbull Government tries hard to pretend it can't see

Sadly what these figures tell us is that the unequal status of women and their daughters in Australian society persists and there is still not enough political will (especially amongst members of the Liberal and National parties) to seriously address the issues.

Proof of this can be found in first the Abbott Government and now the Turnbull Government failing to adequately fund existing programs and new initiatives.

The Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2017:

RISING divorce rates, skyrocketing rents and the gender pay gap have combined to create a new homeless epidemic in which women in their 50s and 60s are the victims.
Social workers warn Australia is facing a generational “tsunami” of this older demographic in coming years as a lack of super, casual jobs and high-priced housing take their toll.

Charities are reporting increases of up to 44 per cent in the number of older women seeking homelessness services in the past five years and government stats are showing half a million women will fall into housing stress over the next two decades.

Those same organisations say the increasing number of older women arriving at Sydney’s homeless shelters have led “traditional” lives, been housewives or worked part time, but with the death of a partner or divorce, are shocked and bewildered to find themselves virtually on the streets.

Apart from later life divorces and sky-high rents, the predicted explosion in the population aged over 65, domestic violence, a lack of super and increased casual jobs have also been blamed for driving the phenomenon.

And along with the growth in lone-person households comes loneliness.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies research shows 26 per cent of people living alone report feeling lonely often, compared with 16 per cent of people living with others.

“They may have once owned a house, but lost it through relationship breakdown, domestic violence, business failure or sheer bad luck.”

Western Sydney Women co-founder and women’s business advocate Annabelle Daniel says there has been a “massive increase” in homelessness among older women.

“We’re talking about a generation who have been mums and housewives and may have had a divorce and now they have nothing. Or they have left a domestic violence situation, and now have nowhere to go.”……

The society’s NSW president Denis Walsh said: “We are hearing more and more stories from women over 50 who, after many years of loyal service, are made redundant and can no longer afford to pay high private rentals.”

Ageing and women’s advocate and former MP Susan Ryan says many of these women would not be eligible for public housing in NSW, yet faced “catastrophic” circumstances.

Years ago, more women retired with a house, Ms Ryan says, but that’s become less common, forcing them into expensive rental markets, where the average rental for a one-bedroom apartment outside the Sydney CBD is now $447 a week.

“The shocking aspect of this new face of poverty is that most of the women involved have not experienced long-term serious illness and have worked most of their lives, often in good, middle level jobs,” she said……

Destroy the Joint, Counting Dead Women, 29 April 2017

All but one of these deaths were allegedly by the hands of men either belonging to the same family group as the women or thought to be known by the women.

Although this is six less deaths than recorded by Destroy the Joint in mid-April 2016, there are still too many women being brutally killed and too many being badly injured.

ABC News, 12 August 2015:
Brain Injury Australia executive officer Nick Rushworth said it was "a matter of current public attention that one woman is killed every week by her partner or ex-partner".
He said he now wanted to draw attention to those women who had to live with chronic brain injury.
"Three women are hospitalised each and every week in this country with a traumatic brain injury — the result of an assault by her partner or ex-partner," he said.

Just over 20,000 people (20,111) were hospitalised in Australia in 2013–14 as a result of an assault, of which 31% (6,293) were women and girls. The overall rate of assault injury among women and girls was 56 cases per 100,000 population, compared with 121 for men. Rates of assault among women and girls were higher in age groups from about 15–19 to 50–54 years and the age group with the highest rate of assault was 30–34 years (113 cases per 100,000 population).

More than three-quarters (76%, or 4,788) of records of cases of assault against women and girls contained information about the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim. Where specific information about the perpetrator was available, ‘spouse or domestic partner’ was the most commonly reported perpetrator of assault among women and girls (59%, or 2,843 cases). ‘Parents’ (195 cases) and ‘other family members’ (726 cases) accounted for nearly half of the remaining cases where the type of perpetrator was specified.

Over half (59%, or 3,685) of all women and girls hospitalised due to assault were victims of an Assault by bodily force. A further quarter of all hospitalised assault cases against women and girls involved a blunt (17%, or 1,048 cases) or sharp object (9%, or 551 cases).

Open wounds (22%, or 1,400 cases), fractures (22%, or 1,375) and superficial injuries (19%, or 1,194) accounted for almost two-thirds of the types of assault injuries sustained by women and girls. For assaults by bodily force and involving sharp and blunt objects, the majority of injuries were to the head and neck area (63%, or 3,328).

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