Domestic and Sexual Violence is a Leading Cause of Homelessness for Women and Children
May 30, 2017
New website highlights important intersection of domestic & sexual violence and homelessness, provides resources for advocates.
In a study of residents in domestic violence shelters across the country, 84% reported that they needed help finding affordable housing. Programs that address housing/homelessness and domestic/sexual violence do important work with survivors and in communities, but often struggle to work collaboratively across systems. Now a new website offers help with understanding the connections between domestic and sexual violence and safe, affordable housing, and provides tools for advocates working at this intersection.
Safe Housing Partnerships, www.safehousingpartnerships.org, is a collection of strategies, resources, case studies, reports, and statistics that providers and advocates can use to enhance services and better meet the needs of survivors who are at risk of becoming homeless.
“The need for safe and affordable housing is one of the most pressing concerns for survivors of violence and abuse,” said Anne Menard, CEO of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, one of the organizations behind the website. “Understanding the connection and designing services that address the intersection is essential to survivors’ ability to recover from violence and move forward with their lives.”
Many survivors, and particularly those most marginalized in society, face unique barriers to accessing shelter and affordable housing due to the power and control dynamics of abuse. Housing programs can provide critical services for survivors and are often a key component in helping survivors find safety and stability.
“The Safe Housing Partnerships website will continuously provide up-to-date information and best practices,” says Peg Hacskaylo, CEO of the National Alliance for Safe Housing. “It will serve as the primary vehicle through which providers can request assistance and support in strengthening their work at this critical intersection.”
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) and the National Alliance for Safe Housing (NASH) partnered to develop the website. They, along with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Collaborative Solutions, Inc., are part of the Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium, an innovative, collaborative approach to providing training, technical assistance, and resource development at the critical intersection of domestic violence, homelessness, and housing.
Funded and supported by an unprecedented partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, and Department of Housing and Urban Development, this multi-year Consortium brings together national, state, and local organizations with deep expertise on housing and domestic violence in order to collaboratively build and strengthen technical assistance to both housing/homelessness providers and domestic violence service providers. The Consortium aims to improve policies, identify promising practices, and strengthen collaborations necessary to improve housing options for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children in order to enhance safety, stability, and well-being.