The aim of the research is to explore how women leaving a domestic violence relationship could remain safely in their own homes with their children, with the violent partner being removed. This is the first study of its kind in NSW, and contributes to the growing national interest in this area of public policy.
The research is based firmly on the principle of providing choices for women. It does not promote the pathway of women remaining in their own homes on leaving a domestic violence relationship as the only option for women to be free from domestic violence, especially if it is unsafe to do so. The study acknowledges that there are some women who do want to stay safely in their own homes with their children. The aim of this study is to identify how this may occur.
The study was conducted over a 15-month period from October 2002 to December 2003. Twenty-nine women from South East Sydney, Western Sydney and the Far South Coast of New South Wales participated in face-to-face ‘in depth’ interviews. All the women had left a relationship involving domestic violence. Fourteen of the women were from Anglo-Australian backgrounds, nine from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, five women were Aboriginal, and one woman was Maori. Twenty-seven of the women had a total of seventy-eight children between them.
On leaving a domestic violence relationship, of the total twenty-nine women, nine remained in their home and twenty left their home.