The National Statistics on Domestic Violence indicate that in the U.S. alone, 20 people per minute suffer physical abuse by an intimate partner. That totals more than 10 million women and men a year who experience abuse and violence, which too often leads to mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, fear, and suicidal thoughts, not to mention physical injury.
The same statistics reveal that “intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime,” and almost 20 percent of all domestic violence cases involve weapons. Gender, age, and race play key roles in who is most at risk for domestic violence.
The issue of domestic violence is not exclusive to those who have homes and stable living situations. Homelessness and domestic violence often intersect, and individuals experiencing homelessness are at an increased risk of violence and abuse.
People who struggle with chronic homelessness are often more vulnerable to violence because of their lack of resources and support systems. They may not have access to safe housing, healthcare, or legal services, making it more difficult to escape abusive situations. Additionally, they may also experience mental health issues, substance abuse, and trauma, which can further increase their risk of experiencing domestic violence.
Unfortunately, our homeless neighbors can also experience barriers to seeking help and support. Some service providers for domestic violence survivors have specific eligibility criteria, which may exclude those who are homeless. The fear of losing their limited housing or being turned away from services can also prevent individuals experiencing homelessness from seeking help.
It is crucial to recognize the unique challenges that individuals experiencing homelessness face in regards to domestic violence. Service providers and advocates must work to ensure that all survivors, regardless of their housing status, have access to the support and resources they need to escape violence and abuse. This may include providing safe housing options, accessible healthcare and legal services, and tailored support for those experiencing homelessness.
The 300+ organizations in Citygate Network membership seek to move people in desperate situations and destitute conditions (i.e., hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted) from human suffering to human flourishing through the process of gospel-powered life transformation. If you or someone you love is in need of Christ-centered compassion and care, please visit our member locator page today to find a mission near you.
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