Survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) seek services from domestic violence (DV) programs for a multitude of reasons. One critical need for many survivors, that has often been overlooked when considering the services DV programs provide, is stable housing. DV programs typically offer safety planning, counseling, advocacy, support groups, and some form of temporary safe housing (e.g., shelter, transitional housing), but increasingly, survivors need assistance securing safe and stable long-term housing. It is imperative, then, that program staff have the information, resources, and skills needed to effectively assist survivors with this essential need. This study examined the housing barriers facing 406 homeless or unstably housed intimate partner violence survivors seeking help from one of five domestic violence programs. In-depth interviews conducted shortly after they sought services revealed that many survivors had a prior history of homelessness, and the vast majority reported at least five issues they faced that made obtaining safe and affordable housing difficult. Findings emphasize the importance of advocates specifically asking about potential housing barriers, and having the knowledge, skills, and community connections needed to effectively assist homeless and unstably housed survivors.
Abramsky, T., Watts, C. H., Garcia-Moreno, C., Devries, K., Kiss, L., Ellsberg, M., Jansen, H., & Heise, L. (2011). What factors are associated with recent intimate partner violence? Findings from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence. BMC Public Health, 11, #109. http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-109
Adams, A. E., Greeson, M. R., Littwin, A. K., & Javorka, M. (2019). The revised scale of economic abuse (SEA2): Development and initial psychometric testing of an updated measure of economic abuse in intimate relationships. Psychology of Violence. Advanced online publication. http://doi.org.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/10.1037/vio0000244
Adams, A. E., Littwin, A. K., & Javorka, M. (2019). The frequency, nature, and effects of coerced debt among a national sample of women seeking help for intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 1077801219841445.
Adams, A. E., Tolman, R. M., Bybee, D., Sullivan, C. M., & Kennedy, A. C. (2012). The impact of intimate partner violence on low-income women’s economic wellbeing: The mediating role of job stability. Violence Against Women, 18, 1345-1367. http://doi.org/10.1177/1077801212474294
Adams, E. N., Clark, H. M., Galano, M. M., Stein, S. F., Grogan-Kaylor, A., & Graham-Bermann, S. (2018). Predictors of housing instability in women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Journal of Intimate Partner Violence. Advance online publication. http://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518777001
Apicello, J. (2010). A paradigm shift in housing and homeless services: Applying the population and high-risk framework to preventing homelessness. The Open Health Services and Policy Journal, 3(1), 41-52. http://doi.org/10.2174/1874924001003010041
Baker, C. K., Billhardt, K. A., Warren, J., Rollins, C., & Glass, N. E. (2010). Domestic violence, housing instability, and homelessness: A review of housing policies and program practices for meeting the needs of survivors. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15, 430-439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2010.07.005
Baker, C. K., Cook, S. L., & Norris, F. H. (2003). Domestic violence and housing problems: A contextual analysis of women’s helpseeking, received informal support, and formal system response. Violence Against Women, 9, 754-783. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801203009007002
Barata, P. C. & Stewart, D. E. (2010) Searching for housing as a battered woman: Does discrimination affect reported availability of a rental unit? Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(1), pp. 43–55. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2009.01540.x.
Barner, J. R.,& Carney, M. M. (2011) Interventions for intimate partner violence: A historical review. Journal of Family Violence, 26, 235–244. https://doi/org/10.1007/s10896-011-9359-3
Bennett, L., & O’Brien, P. (2007). Effects of coordinated services for drug-abusing women who are victims of intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 13, 395–411. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801207299189
Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey (NISVS): 2010 summary report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/11637
Breiding, M. J., & Armour, B. S. (2015). The association between disability and intimate partner violence in the United States. Annals of Epidemiology, 25 455-457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2015.03.017
Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Basile, K. C., Walters, M. L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M. T. (2014). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization—National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(8), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302634
Brisson, D., & Covert, J. (2015). Housing instability risk among subsidized housing recipients: Characteristics associated with late or nonpayment of rent. Social Work Research, 39(2), 119-128. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svv009
Cafferky, B. M., Mendez, M., Anderson, J. R., & Stith, S. M. (2018). Substance use and intimate partner violence: A meta-analytic review. Psychology of Violence, 8(1), 110–131. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000074
Clough, A., Draughon, J. E., Njie-Carr, V., Rollins, C., & Glass, N. (2014). “Having housing made everything else possible:” Affordable, safe and stable housing for women survivors of violence. Qualitative Social Work, 13(5), 671-688. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325013503003
Curtis, M. A., Corman, H., Noonan, K., & Reichman, N. E. (2014). Maternal depression as a risk factor for family homelessness. American Journal of Public Health, 104(9), 1664-1670. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301941
Daoud, N., Matheson, F. I., Pedersen, C., Hamilton-Wright, S., Minh, A., Zhang, J., & O’Campo, P. (2016). Pathways and trajectories linking housing instability and poor health among low-income women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV): Toward a conceptual framework. Women & Health, 56, 208-225. http://doi.org/10.1080/03630242.2015.1086465
Devries, K. M., Mak, J. Y., Garcia-Moreno, C., Petzold, M., Child, J. C., Falder, G., ... & Pallitto, C. (2013). The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science, 340(6140), 1527-1528. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.1240937
Dillon, G., Hussain, R., Loxton, D., & Rahman, S. (2013). Mental and physical health and intimate partner violence against women: A review of the literature. International Journal of Family Medicine. 2013, 1-15. http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/313909
Donaldson, L. P., & Yentel, D. (2019). Affordable housing and housing policy responses to homelessness. In Larkin, H., Aykanian, A., & Streeter, C. (Eds). Homelessness Prevention and Intervention in Social Work (pp. 103-122). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03727-7_5
Fleming, P. J., McCleary-Sills, J., Morton, M., Levtov, R., Heilman, B., & Barker, G. (2015). Risk factors for men’s lifetime perpetration of physical violence against intimate partners: Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in eight countries. PLoS ONE, 10, e0118639. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118639
Gezinski, L. B., & Gonzalez-Pons, K. M. (2019). Unlocking the door to safety and stability: Housing barriers for survivors of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Grace, K. T., & Anderson, J. C. (2018). Reproductive coercion: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 19, 371-390. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838016663935
Gubits, D., Shinn, M., Bell, S., Wood, M., Dastrup, S., Solari, C. Brown, S., Brown, S., Dunton, L., Lin, W., McInnis, D., Rodriguez, J., Savidge, G., Spellman, B., Abt Associates, Inc. (2015). Family Options Study: Short-term impacts of housing and service interventions for homeless families. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/FamilyOptionsStudy_final.pdf.
Hegarty, K., Sheehan, M., & Schonfeld, C. (1999). A multidimensional definition of partner abuse: development and preliminary validation of the Composite Abuse Scale. Journal of Family Violence, 14(4), 399-415.
Hasanbegovic, C., (2019) Un techo para las mujeres. Vivienda segura para una vida libre de violencia. Derecho Social, 16(49), 571-601. https://doi.org/10.24215/25916386e025.
Hernández-Martinez, M., Serrata, J. V., & Huitrón, K. (2018). Housing needs of Latin@ survivors of domestic violence and successful practices of culturally specific community-based organizations (CBOs) (Research Report No. 2018.2). National Latino Network. http://www.nationallatinonetwork.org/research/nln-research
Hines, D. A., & Douglas, E. M. (2011). The reported availability of US domestic violence services to victims who vary by age, sexual orientation, and gender. Partner Abuse, 2, 3-30. https://doi.org/10.1891/1946-65220.127.116.11
James, L., Brody, D., & Hamilton, Z. (2013). Risk factors for domestic violence during pregnancy: A meta-analytic review. Violence and Victims, 28, 359-380. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-12-00034
Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. (2001). The PHQ‐9. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16(9), 606-613. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016009606.x
Lemaitre, J., García, S., Ramírez, H., (2014) Vivienda/Violencia: Intersecciones de la vivienda y la violencia intrafamiliar en Ciudad Bolívar, Bogotá. Revista de Estudios Sociales, 50, 71-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.7440/res50.2014.09
Loxton, D., Powers, J., Fitzgerald, D., Forder, P., Anderson, A., Taft, A., & Hegarty, K. (2013). The Community Composite Abuse Scale: Reliability and validity of a measure of intimate partner violence in a community survey from the ALSWH. Journal of Women’s Health Issues Care, 2, 2-7. https://doi.org/10.4172/2325-9795.1000115
Mason, R., & O'Rinn, S. E. (2014). Co-occurring intimate partner violence, mental health, and substance use problems: A scoping review. Global Health Action, 7, https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.24815.
McGirr, S., Bomsta, H., Vandegrift, C., Gregory, K., Hamilton, B.A., & Sullivan, C.M. (2017). An examination of domestic violence advocates’ responses to reproductive coercion. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260517701451
McLaughlin, J., O'Carroll, R. E., & O'Connor, R. C. (2012). Intimate partner abuse and suicidality: a systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 677-689. https:/doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.08.002
Miranda, F., González., Miradas institucionales sobre la categoría de género en materia de violencias contra las mujeres en Chile. MILLCAYAC Revista digital de Ciencias Sociales, 5(9)
Montgomery, A. E., Cutuli, J. J., Evans-Chase, M., Treglia, D., & Culhane, D. P. (2013). Relationship among adverse childhood experiences, history of active military service, and adult outcomes: Homelessness, mental health, and physical health. American Journal of Public Health, 103, S262-S268.
National Network to End Domestic Violence. (2020). Domestic Violence counts: 14th annual census report https://nnedv.org/resources-library/13th-annual-census-full-report-high-resolution/
Nunes-Costa, R., Serra, M., Sousa, T., Leite, A. (2019). Being psychologically abused is not enough into ending a relationship. Revista Interamericana de Psicología, 444-459. https://doi.org/10.30849/rip/ijp.v53i3.1157
Nyamathi, A. S., Wenzel, L., Lesser, J., Flaskerud, J., & Leake, B. (2001). Comparison of psychosocial and behavioral profiles of victimized and non-victimized homeless women and their intimate partners. Research in Nursing & Health, 24, 324–335. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.1033.
Olivet, J., Dones, M., Richard, M., Wilkey, C., Yampolskaya, S., Beit-Arie, M., & Joseph, L. (2018). SPARC Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities: Phase one study findings. Center for Social Innovation. https://center4si.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SPARC-Phase-1-Findings-March-2018.pdf
Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS). (2019). Respeto a las mujeres. Prevención de la violencia contra las mujeres. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/337198
Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS). (2021). Violencia contra la mujer. https://www.who.int/es/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women
UN. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (2012), Women and the right for adequate housing. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/publications/WomenHousing_HR.PUB.11.2.pdf
Pavao, J., Alvarez, J., Baumrind, N., Induni, M., & Kimerling, R. (2007). Intimate partner violence and housing instability. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32, 143−146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2006.10.008
Ponic, P., & Jategaonkar, J. (2010). Surviving not thriving: The systemic barriers to housing for women leaving violent relationships. BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
Roberts, J. (2015). Expunging America's rap sheet in the information age. Wisconsin Law Review, 321-348.
Spitzer, R.L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B. W., Low, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 1092-1097. http:/.doi.org/10.1001/archinte.166.10.1092
Stylianou, A. M., & Pich, C. (2019). Beyond domestic violence shelter: Factors associated with housing placements for survivors exiting emergency shelters. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0886260519858393
Sullivan, C.M. Bomsta, H., & Hacskaylo, M. (2019). Evidence that flexible funding is a promising strategy to prevent homelessness for survivors of intimate partner violence: A longitudinal pilot study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34, 3017-3033. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516664318
Sullivan, C.M., Chiaramonte, D., López-Zerón, G., Gregory, K., & Olsen, L. (2020). Evaluation in the real world: Decision points and rationales in creating a rigorous study designed to convey ecologically valid findings. American Journal of Community Psychology, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12485
Sullivan, C. M., Goodman, L. A., Virden, T., Strom, J., & Ramirez, R. (2018). Evaluation of the effects of receiving trauma-informed practices on domestic violence shelter residents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88, 563-570. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000286
Sullivan, C. M., López-Zerón, G., Bomsta, H., & Menard, A. (2019). ‘There’s just all these moving parts:’ Helping domestic violence survivors obtain housing. Clinical Social Work Journal, 47, 198-206. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-018-0654-9
Sullivan, C.M. & Olsen, L. (2016). Common ground, complementary approaches: Adapting the Housing First model for domestic violence survivors. Housing and Society, 43, 182-194. https://doi.org/10.1080/08882746.2017.1323305
Sullivan, C. M., & Virden, T. (2017). The relationships among length of stay in a domestic violence shelter, help received, and outcomes achieved. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87, 434-442. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000267
Thomas, K. A., Ward-Lasher, A., Kappas, A., & Messing, J. T. (2020). “It actually isn’t just about housing:” Supporting survivor success in a Domestic Violence Housing First program. Journal of Social Service Research, https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2020.1745349
Warshaw, C., Brashler, P., & Gill, J. (2009). Mental health consequences of intimate partner violence. In C. Mitchell & D. Anglin (Eds.), Intimate partner violence: A health based perspective (pp. 147–171). Oxford University Press.
Wilson, J. M., Fauci, J. E., & Goodman, L. A. (2015). Bringing trauma-informed practice to domestic violence programs: A qualitative analysis of current approaches. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 586-599. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000098
Ziliak, J. P. (2019). Poverty and Social Policy in the United States. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance. https://doi.org.10.1093/acrefore/9780190625979.013.144
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2021 Gabriela Lopez-Zeron, M. Isidora , Cris M. Sullivan, Danielle Chiaramonte