Two-thirds of homeless youths in a Melbourne University survey came from single-parent families.
The research, based on 700 interviews, also found that 43% said they left home because of family violence. Mothers were just as likely as fathers to be the perpetrators. [The Age 31/3/05]
What this means is that domestice violence by women ought to be taken seriously. The evidence shows that female domestic violence is just as damaging as male domestic violence in causing youth homelessness. Yet, campaigns against domestic violence still continue to portray men only as the perpetrators, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Second, the research also undermines the idea that any kind of family arrangement is as good as another. Clearly, single parenthood increases the risk of young people falling all the way into homelessness. The traditional two parent family, imperfect as it no doubt is, does at least help to protect young people from this outcome.