Quote of the Day – October 24, 2012
Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness — for women, in particular, as well as unaccompanied youth. In 2011, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reportedthat 13 percent of homeless women surveyed cited domestic violence or abuse as the primary cause of their homelessness. As noted in a new report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 43 percent of unaccompanied homeless youth report leaving home after being beaten by a caretaker, and 25 percent report that a caretaker requested sexual activity.
In the absence of sufficient safe, affordable housing or stable shelter, many survivors join other homeless people living in public places. There, they face increased exposure to violence, as indicated by the shocking number of crimes committed against them: Homeless persons are the target of hate crimes, and rape is disturbingly prevalent for homeless women.
Legislation to strengthen VAWA’s [Violence Against Women Act] protections and expand them to cover more survivors is now pending in Congress — but stalled due to election year politics. Advocates are pushing for action following the election.
Enactment of this bill would be a critical step towards preventing homelessness for survivors of domestic violence. And realizing the human right to housing for all homeless and at-risk people would go further, ensuring safety and dignity for all.-Excerpted from Maria Foscarinis’ article “End the Violence, Ensure Housing for All”, originally published in the Huffington Post.
Click here to learn more about VAWA housing protections.
This article offers an alternative to the common belief that laziness and drug addiction are the primary causes for homelessness. Further, this article encourages readers to think about the cycles of violence endured by indigent populations and how this connects directly to housing-related and other legislation-arguing that policy can make a crucial difference in preventing homelessness, particularly as a result of domestic violence. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section below.