Housing availability can mean the difference between survival and further abuse or death for women who have suffered intimate partner violence (IPV), according to professor Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, nursing doctoral graduate Jessica Draughton, PhD, MSN, RN, senior research program coordinator Amber Clough, MSW, and a colleague.
Based on in-depth interviews with IPV survivors, the study confirms the critical nature of safe housing and identifies significant barriers to it. One is a disconnect between local housing and domestic violence service systems. Over 2 million injuries are attributed to IPV annually. For some, the drive to escape abuse results in creative but ultimately temporary solutions, such as living in a car or an abandoned building.
"From a public health perspective, IPV survivors need safe housing as a first step in recovery. We can and must do better," Glass says. "Funding, policy, and service delivery must be restructured to better meet these survivors' complex physical, behavioral, environmental, and social needs. With growing numbers of IPV survivors likely to be identified through [Affordable Care Act] women's health screening requirements, the time is now for action."
- A. Clough, J. Draughon, V. Njie-Carr, C. Rollins, N. Glass. 'Having housing made everything else possible': Affordable, safe and stable housing for women survivors of violence. Qualitative Social Work, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/1473325013503003
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