‘NIGHTMARE’: Woman ‘assaulted’, left homeless with no help
“THE system has failed me and failed to protect me.”
Sarah* has lived a nightmare.
She was subletting a room after being moved to Gladstone by DV Connect.
But having had enough of the “housemate from hell” she decided it was time to move out.
“I was assaulted with weapons, with a broom,” she said.
“He hit me so hard the bucket shattered.
“He caused me internal bleeding, I’m numb on my left side, I’ve got a fractured eye socket, he came at me with a knife.
“He hasn’t been charged yet.”
Sarah fled the house and her alleged attacker, leaving behind her possessions including her car after she spent all of her money on rent upfront.
She found temporary but unstable alternate accommodation and needs to be out by Friday.
“I’ve been rendered homeless,” she said.
“This happened right after I paid rent – financially I’m kind of crushed.”
To add to the 58-year-old’s stress, she suffers from a number of medical conditions including lupus and Hashimoto's disease (autoimmune disorder).
Sarah said as her former housemate was not a domestic partner, organisations such as DV Connect had been unable to help her.
Earlier this month The Observer obtained data which showed the full extent of the unavailabilty of public housing.
As a single woman with no dependants, Sarah said she was considered a lower priority by the department of housing and other organisations designed to help people in need.
“What I’m afraid of (is) I’m going to have to sleep on the street, I’ll be vulnerable,” she said.
“I’ve had to walk around Gladstone for two weeks.
“I should be sleeping and healing – I’ve got a concussion.”
The retired teacher said she was now left to do all the legal footwork in an attempt to get her property and money back.
“All the services are just turning me down,” she said.
“I have no idea what is next, I’m trying desperately to get housing.
“I don’t want to be sleeping in the street and to be vulnerable.”
A DVConnect spokeswoman said the service was funded to provide crisis response to individuals and families fleeing domestic and family violence.
“DVConnect is guided by definitions within Queensland legislation when providing a response to individuals contacting us for crisis support, something that is critical for us as an essential service that has a high demand for service and finite resourcing,” she said.
“This extends to The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld) definition of a relevant relationship.”
She said for women who were not experiencing DFV but who were a victim of crime or experiencing a housing crisis, DVConnect would make referrals or provide contact information of services that were appropriate to respond to that presenting issue – from Qld Police to Victim’s Assist or local housing or women’s services available in the local area.
Sarah is hopeful to find a Good Samaritan to help her out in her time of need, either to pitch a tent on their land or someone to offer a place to sleep while she tries to secure housing.
“I don’t expect a stranger to take me in – just someone who knows something I haven’t been able to source,” she said.
She describes the whole ordeal as something she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to get over.
“It was a nightmare living with someone like that,” she said.
“He called me a dog c--- every ten minutes of the day.
“Not a single sentence doesn’t include the word f--- and he’s given a house to live in.
“The system has failed me and failed to protect me; an honest woman with a clean record who’s done her bit for Australia.”
Can you help Sarah or know someone who can? Get in touch with The Observer: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name has been changed for legal reasons.