When You Don’t Feel Safe in Your Home
Violence and abuse in relationships is one of leading causes for homelessness among women and children in the United States. The numbers are shocking. The majority of women in our programs, 57 percent state that they have been in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. Heather* is one of them. She joined our program three months ago, and is still getting used to being on her own. She recently got out of an abusive relationship that lasted more than six years.
How the Abuse Started
Most times, the abuse doesn’t start right away. At first, Heather’s boyfriend was a sweet and caring man. Soon, she discovered that he was an alcoholic and emotionally and physically abusive. But without the support of her parents, this was the only thing she had.
Things got worse for her and her two children when he lost his job. She knew she had to get out of the relationship to protect herself and her two kids. With no support network, job, money or a place to live, this was one of the toughest things she had ever done.
One in four women have experienced physical violence by their partner at some point in their life.
According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four women have experienced physical violence by their partner at some point in their life. Women who are fleeing abuse often have no place to go, after being isolated by their partner. This makes domestic violence one of the main reasons for homelessness among women and children.
When it comes to her kids, she would do anything to give them the childhood she never had.
Starting a New Life
Heather filled a ‘Protection from Abuse’ order against her abuser, found a job, and got her own place. She knew it was going to be impossible to do it completely on her own and reached out to Home of the Sparrow. With the stability our Supportive Housing Program provides, she can think about going to college for the first time in her life. Her goal is to get into an accounting program, so that she can provide for her children by herself. When it comes to her kids, she would do anything to give them the childhood she never had.
Stability to Build a Better Future
We are thankful for the ability to help and stabilize her so that she can build a better future for her children. We are supporting Heather with her rent and are providing financial skills training, so that she can develop sound money management skills. During the beginning of the program, we helped her navigate the services and support she is eligible for.
*The name has been changed to protect her identity