Stay With a Man Who Beats You or End Up Homeless? How Budget-Cutting Obsession Is Destroying the Lives of Abused Women
“My mother [had] disowned me, so where would I go? So I just stayed. It was survival for me, where else do I go?” she says.
Her fears were not unwarranted. Many women who flee their abusers end up homeless. One 2003 study found that 25% of homeless mothers surveyed said they’d been “kicked, pushed, shoved or otherwise hurt” in the past year. 63% of homeless women have been victimized by their partners, while 92% have been physically or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. (Men are also the victims of intimate partner violence, but at far lower rates than women.)
That’s just one of the heartbreaking ways poverty and domestic violence are intertwined. If the abuser brings home the money in a low-income house, the choice to send him off to jail may seem impossible. Low-income and minority women, for understandable reasons, may be reluctant to tangle with the criminal justice system, and may be less likely to report abuse to police in the first place. Even the relatively well-off can find themselves in trouble: abusers do not tend to encourage their partners’ career aspirations, leaving many battered women financially stuck when getting away can mean poverty.
TRUTH ABOUT ABUSE SURVEY (PDF)
Domestic violence affects millions of individuals every year — whether physical, verbal, emotional or financial abuse. We all know someone who is, was or will be a victim. This crime impacts everyone — our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, neighbors and colleagues — and we all must be part of the solution, especially during this economically difficult time. You can do your part by:
• Making a contribution to anti-domestic violence organizations and women’s shelters.
• Volunteering your time.
• Speaking out against domestic violence in a public setting or in individual conversations.
• Donating household goods or food items to a shelter.
• Urging public officials to support legislation that serves survivors and holds perpetrators accountable. One way is to sign the online petition at enddatingviolence.com that encourages lawmakers to help end teen dating violence.
Domestic violence is one of the nation’s most insidious, pervasive crimes. No one deserves
to be abused. The abuse is never the victim’s fault, and survivors are not alone… .