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Sexual assault survivors face a ‘housing maze’, support workers warn


ABC Gold Coast Queensland


Dominic Cansdale


There is a lack of dedicated crisis accommodation and housing support for survivors of sexual assault, according to a Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence.

The Centre Against Sexual Violence says survivors need dedicated support from housing service

The service’s director warns the booming housing market has given survivors fewer options

The state government says housing staff are trained in how to deal with those experiencing trauma

Director Di MacLeod said the scale of the issue was “still a bit hidden”, with some survivors couch-surfing with friends and family, or sleeping in their cars until they could secure stable accommodation.

“The most important thing is to have a roof over your head and know where your next meal is coming from before you can do any other crisis or therapeutic work.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy said assistance was coordinated through its Housing Services Centres.

“Frontline housing staff have also had training to improve how they assist people who have experienced trauma, including women subject to sexual violence, and can help with housing supports as well as referrals to other supports and services,” the spokesperson said.

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