Everybody knows that women who have experienced domestic violence or abuse are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing a range of mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.
The likelihood of having suicidal thoughts was 3.5 times greater for women who had experienced domestic violence than those who hadn’t.
I am not sure how our society understands the term homelessness. Its is not only sleeping on the street
- Women who experience violence in their own homes are homeless
- Women who flee violence are homeless
- Women who stay in women’s shelters are homeless
- Women who couch surf with family, friends, and strangers are homeless
Women escaping violence are at high risk for housing instability and homelessness. Housing instability differs from homelessness because women have a place to live; however, maintaining that residence may be difficult for a variety of reasons (from financial to mental health concerns)
We know that women’s homelessness is vastly underestimated and often hidden. Women may experience “episodic homelessness” as they move in and out of abusive situations and stay at women’s shelters.
Life expectancy in the homeless population is around 45 yrs vs. 77 yrs as the average. A leading cause of homelessness in women is from fleeing domestic violence. Several studies show 8 of 10 people experiencing homelessness suffer from chronic mental health conditions.
Let us educate our community about the stigma of homelessness. Changing this will be an enormous endeavor. What will it require? Raising our voices individually and collectively, as some attempt survivors have.
Let us honor the lives that were lost, for attempt survivors, for grieving families, and for our friends and family of the future, who one day will face atrocious battles against mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
Data source - ASA