Another stolen generation looms unless Indigenous women fleeing violence can find safe housing

Kyllie Cripps & Daphne Habibis - The Conversation

In this piece for the Conversation, Kyllie Cripps and Daphne Habibis write about an overlooked root cause of the overrepresentation of Indigenous children placed in state care in Western Australia: "the difficulty Indigenous women escaping family violence face in finding safe housing." According to the piece, "Indigenous children are admitted to out-of-home care at 11 times the rate for non-Indigenous children" and "emotional abuse, which includes the child’s exposure to family violence, accounts for most notifications. The second-most-common type is neglect. This occurs at more than double the non-Indigenous rate and includes inadequate, insecure or unsafe housing." This puts many Aboriginal women in an "impossible situation," say the authors. "If they stay with the perpetrator they risk notification for emotional abuse. If they leave but cannot find suitable housing, they risk allegations of neglect." The authors call for greater recognition of the critical importance of housing in public policy aimed at reducing violence and overrepresentation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care.