People fleeing domestic
violence experience a state of uncertainty; gathering clothes, children, and
medicine as they leave. What are their housing options? A shelter, a friend's
couch, public housing, the street?
- Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness
o In one study in Massachusetts, it was found that
92% of homelessness women were survivors of physical or sexual assault at some
point in their lives.
o Between 22% and 57% of homeless women report
that domestic violence is the immediate cause of their homelessness in various
**For more statistics
about state-wide domestic violence, see our fact sheet on Housing and Violence Against Women.
- When a landlord learns that a tenant is a victim of
domestic violence, the landlord sometimes reacts by taking action against
o The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords
from treating women differently from male tenants protecting those living in
public housing, houses, apartments, condominiums, trailer parks, and homeless
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) improves safety for domestic violence
victims in housing and shelter by bringing desperately needed resources,
collaborations, and protections to help end homelessness and domestic and
o The Law Center played a lead role in
drafting and winning enactment of new Public and Section 8 housing protections
and housing programs to assist homeless and near-homeless domestic violence
survivors included in the Violence Against Women Act of 2005.
- The Law Center's Domestic Violence Program works to
improve access to housing for domestic violence survivors and their
- We work to develop and implement policy changes, build
networks, and broaden education efforts in the housing, legal, and
domestic violence communities.
- Our efforts expand access to housing for those fleeing
abuse. We also prevent victims of domestic violence from losing their
housing due to the violence committed against them.