Survivors of domestic violence encounter many barriers when they choose to leave their abusive partner. Safe, affordable housing has become one of the primary obstacles that survivors face when seeking freedom and protection from their abuser.
The barriers that keep survivors of domestic violence from obtaining and maintaining safe housing often remain after the survivor has left the abusive relationship. There are many types of controlling abuse that a survivor can be exposed to during intimate partner violence, including financial abuse, emotional abuse, and isolation, all of which can delay survivors from finding housing and maintaining it.
Individuals who have experienced financial abuse may lack financial education as well as resources, which can make it that much more difficult for the survivor to leave. If someone has been isolated, another tactic used in domestic violence, they may lack a support system to assist them in leaving the abusive partner.
Evictions, criminal records, mental health, and other barriers can all stem from an abusive relationship, limiting his or her housing options.
Emergency shelter and transitional housing are critical for survivors to safely escape abusive relationships. The most dangerous time for a survivor of domestic violence is when they are leaving their abusive partner, or soon after; the intensified fear experienced during this time, in addition to the lack of support and resources to obtain and maintain housing, can lead a survivor to extreme danger or homelessness.
It’s critical that this need for housing is observed through a lens of trauma and healing. Survivors of domestic violence need safe, stable housing in order to recover from the abuse they have experienced and move forward in life.
If you or someone you know needs help getting out of domestic violence, please contact Peace at Home at 479.444.9811.