Abused women’s experiences of homelessness

‘The socio-cultural construct of women as caring and loving housewives attending the needs of husbands and children makes homeless women – those who fulfil such gender roles – stigmatised and marginalised’.

‘For women in abusive relationships, homelessness does not end when they have found somewhere to stay. The sense of insecurity and uncertainty continues even when they have moved into the move-on properties provided by housing organisations.

‘Rough sleeping, insecure accommodation and cycling in and out of institutions are the three main forms of homelessness experienced by women fleeing relationships’

DASH hosted 3 students from Durham University’s Collingwood College who were undertaking summer internships. One of the students, Xinran Lu, attended at four charities during her internship, including DASH, and prepared a report entitled ‘Abused Women’s Pathways into Homelessness and Means of Effective Empowerment’ following interviews with homeless women and associated research she conducted.

In her report Xinran explores the relationship between homelessness and domestic violence. The report argues that the homeless experience of women in abusive relationships starts when they are still at home and takes the form of fear and an extreme sense of insecurity. The negative home experience then prompts the women to leave home, but the long-lasting impacts of domestic violence, inability to cope and low self-esteem then result in different forms of homelessness.

Read the full report HERE

Opinions or views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of DASH.