Leaving an abusive situation isn’t as easy as simply walking out the door and never looking back. Survivors must consider many factors, including where to live once she leaves. Sadly, there simply aren’t enough resources to help every survivor thrive on their own. Without access to shelters and affordable housing, far too many women end up either homeless or trapped in abusive relationships.
The Link Between Domestic Violence and Homelessness
Among women and children who experience homelessness, more than 80% are survivors of domestic abuse. As many as 57% of all homeless women say domestic violence was the primary reason for their homelessness.
Homelessness and domestic violence are not independent problems. Many women find themselves in an impossible situation. They must choose between staying in a violent and potentially dangerous relationship but having a place to live, or leaving and risking homelessness.
The problem is only made worse by a lack of affordable housing across the nation and limited access to financial and public assistance. These barriers often leave victims feeling hopeless. Many have limited financial resources, making it extremely difficult to support themselves and their children. These women might also experience psychological and emotional abuse, making them believe they simply aren’t capable of leaving. Victims are often alienated from family or friends, leaving them with few people to ask for help.
How You Can Help
There is a clear intersection between homelessness and domestic violence. While we can’t form a solution overnight, we can work together to help survivors stay safe and become self-sufficient. WodBottom partners with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Dane County, WI. This extraordinary organization is dedicated to helping abuse victims escape dangerous situations. DAIS provides emergency shelter, counseling, basic necessities, and access to services to help women and children find a safe, affordable place to live.
No one should ever live in fear of abuse. And certainly, no one should stay in an abusive relationship because they have nowhere else to go.
Please consider donating to DAIS or your local crisis center. You can support DAIS through our DAIS product line, by purchasing the FriDAIS item of the week each Friday, or donating directly to the organization.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please contact your local domestic violence crisis center or the National Domestic Violence Hotline by texting “START” to 88788.