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The importance of St Vincent de Paul Society’s fundraising to provide emergency support services has been highlighted by the continuing violence against Australian women, says the society’s national president Mark Gaetani.

Stressing that this national crisis must be addressed urgently at the political, legal and societal levels, Mr Gaetani said “first-hand experience reported by our members is that family and domestic violence is one of the main reasons women are fleeing their homes seeking safety and often becoming homeless”.

“Our figures show that at least 60 per cent of people seeking support from the Society’s homelessness services are female,” Mr Gaetani said.

He said the society welcomes the announcement that the Albanese Government will allocate $925.2 million to establish the Leaving Violence Program providing women with financial support, safety assessments and referrals to support pathways, as well as measures to combat online misogyny.

“The sad reality is that too many Australian women have to deal with intolerable physical and psychological abuse, and our members and frontline staff are seeing the impacts of the gender violence crisis each day in every Australian state and territory.

“The abuse of women cuts right across the community, regardless of age, ethnicity or social standing, and it has to be ended.

“As a charity, we are doing our very best to assist women by providing a range of services, including specialised emergency and longer-term accommodation, counselling, and other support.

“We know that appropriate immediate, short and long-term accommodation options are important. So are the intertwined elements that make up a comprehensive response plan for women and children fleeing domestic and sexual violence in their homes.”

Mr Gaetani said social housing is a “key plank in any plan” and the society has a “number of social housing projects requiring government financial assistance”.

“However, much of the funding to provide our services comes from our fundraising initiatives and our charity shops, which are major contributors to our work, including the provision of vital support to Australian women in crisis situations.”


Violence against women highlights importance of Vinnies fundraising (St Vincent de Paul Society)