Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Domestic violence is defined as emotionally and/or physically controlling an intimate partner, often involving tactics such as physical assault, stalking, and sexual assault ( Approximately one out of every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence each year. Victims of domestic violence lost about 8 million days of paid work because of the violence that they experienced. 4.1 billion dollars is spent directly on mental health and medical services for domestic violence victims (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Considering the cost and prevalence, as well as the direct relationship between housing and domestic violence, a majority of homeless women are victims of domestic violence.

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80 %

of women with children who are experiencing homelessness were previously victims of domestic violence, according to the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness.

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57 %

of all women experiencing homelessness stated domestic violence was the primary cause of their homelessness, according to Safe Housing Partnerships.

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45 %

of all domestic violence survivors had previously stayed with an abusive partner as a result of not having an alternative place to go.

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1 in 3

people of all genders in the United States experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to Doorways.

Lack of Resources for Those Experiencing Domestic Violence

When a woman decides to leave an abusive relationship, she often has nowhere to go. This is particularly true of women with few resources. Lack of affordable housing and long waiting lists for assisted housing mean that many women and their children are forced to choose between abuse at home and life on the streets. Moreover, shelters are frequently filled to capacity and must turn away battered women and their children.

Advocacy and Resources

Read about the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act here:

Domestic Violence