‘Having housing made everything else possible’: Affordable, safe and stable housing for women survivors of violence

Amber Clough, Jessica E. Draughon, Veronica Njie-Carr, Chiquita Rollins, Nancy Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research indicates that the need for safe housing and the economic resources to maintain safe housing are two of the most pressing concerns among abused women who are planning to or have recently left abusers. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is frequently an immediate cause or precursor to homelessness and housing instability. The aim of the study is to explore abused women’s experiences accessing affordable, safe, and stable housing. To achieve the aim, adult female IPV survivors answered questions about: 1) steps that were taken to secure housing; 2) safety issues after leaving the abuser; 3) barriers to obtaining housing; and 4) responses from housing and domestic violence advocacy systems related to survivors’ housing needs. Four major themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: 1) stable, affordable housing is critical in increasing safety; 2) survivors face multiple systemic or individual barriers; 3) survivors develop and utilize an array of creative and resourceful strategies; and 4) survivors identified a variety of supportive services tailored to address their needs. The findings inform practice, policy and research for both the housing and domestic violence service systems with an emphasis on collaboration to meet the complex safety and stable housing needs of survivors and their families, particularly following the impact on housing of the 2008 US economic crisis and subsequent recession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-688
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Social Work
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2014

Keywords

  • Advocacy
  • domestic violence
  • economic crisis
  • housing
  • safety
  • social services
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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