Women’s Legal Services NSW (WLSNSW) has recently released the Domestic Violence and Renting: Prioritising Safety at Home report which details experiences of domestic violence and renting in NSW from a 2017 WLSNSW survey. WLSNSW has been leading a push to make tenancy laws in NSW fairer for people experiencing domestic violence working to strengthen proposed reforms to ensure people are not penalised for having to end a tenancy because of domestic violence.
In it’s current form, the proposed legislative reforms don’t go far enough
In the proposed reforms, the evidence required to end a tenancy is limited to provisional, interim or final apprehended violence orders (AVO) or family law injunctions. Over half of respondents surveyed by WLSNSW had not reported their experiences of domestic violence to the police.
We can make this reform work for everybody it’s intended to benefit
WLSNSW is pushing to ensure that much-needed reform to tenancy law goes as far as it needs to go. Evidence of DV needed to end a tenancy must reflect the reality of DV reporting. This means evidence from doctors, domestic violence service workers, psychologists, community access workers, social workers, homelessness workers, child protection workers, nurses or disability advocates must be included. In the words of one survey respondent such a “law change will be life saving”.
Join the call to make prioritise safety at home by writing to your local Member of Parliament as well as to Ministers, Shadow Ministers and Party Spokespersons and call for the acceptance of evidence of domestic violence from a doctor, domestic violence service worker, psychologist, community access worker, social worker, homelessness worker, child protection worker, nurse or disability advocate to end a tenancy immediately without penalty in circumstances of domestic violence. Tell your MPs why this issue is important to you. We encourage you to attach a copy of the infographic summary of the survey results (below). Further information about taking further action here.