Domestic Violence and Homelessness.
Domestic violence is greatly on the rise and is one of the leading causes of homelessness among women in today’s society. A poor economic background, combined with unsafe shelters, lack of help from communities and long waiting lists to get into temporary housing, all leaves a victim of domestic violence much more vulnerable to homelessness. A woman with no education is more likely to become dependent on her partner; creating an unequal power relationship. The victim may feel she has no voice because she is not bringing money into the house and if she does decide to leave there is nowhere to go because of her lack of resources. Poverty limits a woman’s choices and it makes it harder to escape a violent relationship. Finding a minimum wage job at Wal-Mart or JCPenny would be her only option for employment, and that job would never allow her to make enough money to support herself and her children. She becomes easily trapped in her frightening existence and is forced to stay with her abuser because of lack of money. She has no control and when she does try to exert some independence the violence escalates and she is forced to back down. When a victim of abuse finally does run, life on the streets and in shelters may increase her vulnerability to new abusive relationships. Most shelters require a person to enter early in the evening and stay all night until the morning. A woman could find herself surrounded by unscrupulous people because shelters are full of alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals. A victim of domestic violence can become easy prey to predators; that use shelters as hunting grounds for the weak and unprotected. Most workers in the shelters are not trained to deal with violence; and if she is in current danger some shelters may not even take her in; believing her abuser could stalk her and come to the shelter and create problems for others; making her a victim all over again. When...
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