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28th March
2011
written by Catherine An

Today’s post comes to us with help from Samantha Batko, program and policy analyst at the Alliance.

Though the connection may seem tenuous at first, it takes little effort to realize that survivors of domestic violence are at increased risk of experiencing homelessness. Abusive partners often isolate their victims from family, friends, and income so that when a survivor attempts to flee, they have few if any resources available to them to begin their life anew.

Moreover, there are specific challenges for survivors when it comes to acquiring or maintaining housing: the abusive behavior of their partner could have led to eviction. Obviously there are clear safety concerns and potential fear of violence. Often, the loss of an abuser’s income can leave survivors with no affordable housing options. It’s not unusual, therefore, for survivors of domestic violence – and their children – to end up in shelter.

Which is why we are focusing on how domestic violence service providers can employ homeless assistance techniques to provide safe, stable, and permanent housing as quickly as possible.

We’re talking about homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing.

In a new brief, the Alliance details the success domestic violence service providers are having helping survivors find housing by utilizing the same practices as homeless assistance providers. They step in with financial assistance when families are able to stay in the same residence, they provide case management and social services when appropriate, or – if new housing is necessary – they help survivors bypass the shelter system and acquire new housing as quickly as possible.

For more information and to read the full brief, please visit our website.

The paper was informed by a number of direct service providers and the work of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

1 Comment

  1. 29/03/2011

    Thanks for a very important and useful resource.

    Another connection between IPV and homelessness, although this might be a European problem (I’m not sure of the situation in the US) if is that victims who are dependent on their abusive partner or spouse for their legal status (asylum seekers, refugees, migrants) leave their homes to escape the violence, they lose their status and are often not eligible for housing support and cannot access services (refuges, etc) for victims of IPV, and thus end up homeless.

    FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People) is trying to do more work on the link between IPV and homelessness, and would be happy to hear from the National Alliance about any best practices (apart from this resource, of course!) that you are aware of.

    Thanks, and all the best,

    Suzannah
    (FEANTSA Communications Officer)