For survivors of domestic violence who choose to leave an abusive partner, one of their most critical priorities can be finding safe, permanent housing for themselves and their children. The intersection of homelessness and domestic violence is compounded for women of color and LGBTQI communities, particularly Native American and African American women. Native American and Alaska Native Women face both a lack of housing and disproportionate rates of violence, while African American survivors of violence are disproportionately impacted by discriminatory nuisance ordinances, resulting in evictions and homelessness as a result of their victimization.
Unfortunately, this is often an uphill battle. Financial abuse may ruin a survivor’s credit and prevent them from signing a lease, or an abusive partner may choose to stalk them in their new home, or they may face discrimination based on an abuser’s violence or criminal actions. These and other factors such as housing discrimination, lack of affordable housing, housing displacement, the COVID-19 pandemic, and natural disasters often keep victims trapped in abusive relationships, as options dwindle and the abuser escalates their violence.
While some federal legislation like the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA) offers provisions that help and protect survivors, a lack of consistent implementation has hampered their effectiveness. That’s where our Collaborative Approach to Housing for Survivors team comes in. We work with national housing and homelessness organizations to provide training and technical assistance, develop resources, improve policies, and strengthen collaborations to ensure that all survivors have access to the housing they need.
“Housing isn’t just a building; it’s a network of domestic violence housing programs and state coalitions that helps survivors feel safe, supported, and free to build better lives for themselves and their children. We are working to make“every home a safe home” a reality across the country.”
The team is connecting the dots between a multitude of housing issues that impact survivors, including living-wage jobs, access to tax credits and benefits, affordable childcare, economic literacy, financial education, job training, and more. Help our Collaborative Approach to Housing for Survivors team continue this work for survivors in need.