Domestic Violence is the Leading Cause of Homelessness



On a single night last September, 476 victims of domestic violence across Colorado found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The annual count by the National Census of Domestic Violence Services shows an additional 173 requests for housing by victims in Colorado that same day could not be met.

Many ask: “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Homelessness is a key reason.

Recent research indicates that one in five families experienced domestic violence before entering shelters, with 88% pointing to the violence as the main cause of their losing a safe place to call home. This is clearly a conservative count as victims of relationship violence find shelter in other locations, such as doubling up with family or friends or short-stay motels, and some are unable to find any shelter.

Addressing relationship violence as a root cause of homelessness is key to preventing and decreasing homelessness.

Here’s How You Can Help:

  1. Learn More. Relationship violence is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation and intimidation.
  2. Speak Up. Tell your congressional and legislative representatives that we need more emergency and transitional housing resources and supports for victims of domestic violence.
  3. Take Action. Check out the Community Action Card developed by the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and take steps that can help to make a meaningful difference in addressing domestic violence and homelessness.

Contact Domestic Safety Resource Center for more information.

719-336-HELP (4357)


Filed Under: CountyEconomyFeaturedHealthHousingMedia ReleasePublic Safety


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