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How Fleeing Domestic Violence Leads to Homelessness and Long-Term Housing Struggles

December 8, 2021 4:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Approximately 10 million women, men, children, and teens experience domestic violence every year in the United States. ( While these instances lead to physical and psychological trauma and injury, fleeing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse also leads to homelessness in far too many cases. Lack of affordable housing and shelter space specifically for abuse victims forces far too many people to stay in dangerous and destructive situations or risk their lives, health, and well-being on the streets or in bad housing situations.

Not Enough Affordable Housing for Survivors

The affordable housing crisis in the US affects millions of Americans. More than half a million homeless folks have nowhere to call their own. ( The statistical link between abuse and homelessness has been well-established for decades. The problem grows with ever-increasing reports of domestic violence and crime during the Covid-19 pandemic. (

Many Locations Have No Transitional Housing or Shelters

Large cities are more likely to have transitional housing and protective shelters specifically for survivors of physical, emotional, and sexual. The options are minimal for women and men facing this type of trauma in suburbs and rural areas. Since women are much more likely to be victims, men who experience abuse frequently have zero options for getting help anywhere.

The options left include friend or family member’s couches or sleeping rough outside. The answer to the frequently asked question of why victims do not move to a new apartment or rented room involves the financial abuse and degradation of agency that usually accompanies any other type of marital or dating relationship violence.

How Financial Abuse Contributes to the Problem

They discuss domestic violence, much associate physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse to a lesser extent. However, nearly 100% of all these situations also include financial abuse. ( Just as an abuser frequently separates the victim from family or friend support or getting help, they also remove access to financial resources or employment. It is a widespread way of making the victim reliant on the abuser to escape.

A lack of resources and the ability to earn an income make it virtually impossible to get out of a domestic relationship that involves abuse. If the affected woman or man does manage to leave, homelessness is the only option without stable employment, money in the bank, or a good credit score to impress landlords. Insufficient support from transitional housing situations or public assistance programs leads to long-term instability that is difficult to overcome.

Abuse Survivor Challenges for Finding Safe Housing

Besides the statistical lack of affordable housing, shelters, and other types of post-abuse support, the organizations that provide help find it challenging to navigate. This struggle is only compounded by the lack of knowledge and fortitude abused men and women frequently face. When survival was the main focus of life for so long, the detailed process of gathering documents, verifying qualifications, and dealing with all the red tape to get any help is an often-insurmountable challenge.

Are you in an abusive relationship? Or survivor affected by domestic violence contact:

Shepherd’s Door Domestic Violence Resource Center for help? We are committed to providing comprehensive services to survivors of all types of abuse. Reach out today at 626-765-9967 or email us at

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