Domestic Violence

Domestic violence creates vulnerability to homelessness for women and children, particularly those with limited economic resources. Among women with children currently experiencing homelessness, more than 80 percent have previously experienced domestic violence. Domestic violence often includes exertion of financial and psychological control, leaving survivors with poor credit, limited networks of support, and few resources. Many survivors must leave their homes to escape violence but may not have access to safe housing and needed services.

Growing numbers of programs that serve survivors of domestic violence are providing short- or medium-term housing assistance to help families move to safe housing. Domestic violence advocates and social services providers are an essential part of a coordinated strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Emergency shelters often serve as the first stop for survivors of domestic violence to escape the immediate danger of abuse, but stays are often limited to 90 days to maintain beds for those in immediate danger.

The task now is to work with public housing authorities and other mainstream resources to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse receive priority if their situation necessitates, and also to ensure that they are not denied a home based on past abuse. Opening Doors focuses on this issue as part of its initiative in ending family homelessness by 2020, specifically in its strategy to eliminate administrative barriers to federally funding housing assistance for those most in need of services. Working together to understand the immediate and long-term needs of domestic violence survivors, we can end homelessness among families.

If you are someone you know is in need of assistance please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233 (TTY: 1.800.787.3224 ) or visit

Additional Resources

The Experience of Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women: A Research Report

Jana L. Jasinski, Jennifer K. Wesely, Elizabeth Mustaine, and James D. Wright November 2005 Studies investigating...

Child Support Enforcement Program

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program is a federal, state, tribal and local partnership to...

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) provides the primary federal funding stream dedicated...

Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Domestic Violence

The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants support programs that serve individuals experiencing homelessness and their children...

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence creates vulnerability to homelessness for women and children, particularly those with limited economic...

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