by Tracey Lyall, CEO of DVIS
Homelessness is a reality that affects domestic violence survivors and their children every day. Many people do not want to consider these displaced families homeless, but according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), families “fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, have no other residence, and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing” are, by definition, homeless.
Each day in the United States, more than 31,500 adults and children fleeing domestic violence find safe housing at an emergency shelter or transitional living program, like the ones offered by Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) in Tulsa. On this same day in the United States, agencies like ours are unable to meet over 12,197 requests for services due to a lack of resources. Of these unfulfilled requests, 63 percent (7,728) are for housing. This means, on a daily basis in the United States, there are at least 7,728 families with nowhere to go. No wonder 20 percent to 50 percent of women experiencing homelessness cite intimate partner violence as the primary cause of their homelessness!
Homelessness due to domestic violence is dangerous. Not only are families in danger if found by the perpetrator, but they become vulnerable to sexual violence and human trafficking. Studies show homeless women are two to four times more likely to experience violence when compared to all other women in the United States. Additionally, one-in-three homeless or runaway teens will be recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home.
The reality is, our community needs programs like A Way Home for Tulsa. The partnerships formed through this initiative save lives by providing safe housing to domestic violence survivors and their families. It changes the lives of hundreds of women, men and children in our community each day.
- According to HUD, people are homeless if they “are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, have no other residence, and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.”
- One in three runaway or homeless teens will be recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home
- A racially diverse sample of homeless mothers found that 92% had experienced severe physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives.
- In just one day in 2015, over 31,500 adults and children fleeing domestic violence found refuge in a domestic violence emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
- That same day, domestic violence programs were unable to meet over 12,197 requests for services because of a lack of funding, staffing, or other resources.
- Sixty-three percent (7,728) of unmet requests were for housing. Emergency shelter and transitional housing continue to be the most urgent unmet needs for domestic violence survivors.
- According to multiple studies examining the causes of homelessness, among mothers with children experiencing homelessness, more than 80% had previously experienced domestic violence.
- Between 22 and 57% of all homeless women report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
- Approximately one homeless woman in four is homeless mainly because of her experiences with violence.
- Homeless women are at two to four times greater risk of experiencing any type of violence when compared with all women in the United States
- Between 20% to 50% of women experiencing homelessness cite intimate partner violence (IPV) as the primary cause of their homelessness