IMPACT ON HOMELESSNESS
THIRD LEADING CAUSE
Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families in the U.S.
92% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
ABUSE BY AGE 12
Of all homeless women and children, 60% have been abused by age 12, and 63% have been victims of intimate partner violence as adults.
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
Congress has found that women and families across the country are being discriminated against, denied access to, and even evicted from public and subsidized housing because of their status as victims of domestic violence.
NEED FOR MORE EMERGENCY SHELTERS
Women who leave their abusers frequently lack adequate emergency shelter options. The lack of adequate emergency options for victims presents a serious threat to their safety and the safety of their children.
EMERGENCY SHELTER STAY
The average stay at an emergency shelter is 30 to 60 days, while the average length of time it takes a homeless family to secure housing is 6 to 12 months.
RETURN TO ABUSIVE PARTNERS
Victims of domestic violence often return to abusive partners because they cannot find long-term housing.
ESSENTIAL NEED OF TRANSITIONAL HOUSING
Transitional housing facilities, resources, and services provide an essential link between emergency shelters and independent living. A majority of women in transitional housing programs state that had these programs not existed, they would have likely gone back to abusive partners.
NEEDED SERVICES TO SECURE HOUSING
Because abusers frequently manipulate finances in an effort to control their partners, victims often lack steady income, credit history, landlord references, and a current address - some of which are necessary to obtain long-term permanent housing.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN RURAL AREAS
Victims of domestic violence in rural areas face additional barriers, challenges and unique circumstances, such as geographic isolation, poverty, lack of public transportation systems, shortages of health care providers, under-insurance or lack of health insurance, difficulty ensuring confidentiality in small communities, and decreased access to many resources (such as advanced education, job opportunities, and adequate child care).
CONGRESS RECOGNIZES VICTIM NEEDS
Congress and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development recognize there is a strong link between domestic violence and homelessness, and families experiencing domestic violence have unique needs that should be addressed by those administering housing programs.
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