Homelessness and Domestic Violence: Leading Facts and Statistics

Domestic violence is often a contributor or cause of homelessness. Escaping abusive situations means leaving the residence where the abuse is occurring and sometimes victims are unable to find shelter through friends, family or available community resources. Understanding the challenges of being homeless, and the statistics about homelessness and domestic violence, may help encourage victims to plan how they leave, when they leave, what circumstances they leave under and where they go, as this article explains.

  • Approximately 50% of all women who are homeless report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
  • 84% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
  • 33% of homeless women have been victims of severe assault by their current or most recent intimate partner.
  • By age 12, 83% of homeless children have been exposed to at least one serious violent event and nearly 25% have witnessed acts of violence within their families.
  • Mothers experiencing homelessness have three times the rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (36%) and twice the rate of drug and alcohol dependence (41%).
  • About 50% of mothers experienced a major depressive episode since becoming homeless. They have ulcers at four times the rate of other women.

Reprinted with permission from www.domesticshelters.org. Click the link for complete list of sources and more information on how to escape domestic violence.