When Domestic Violence Happens, You Don’t Have a Place to Go Home

by Erin Murphy
YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish

Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month, and Firesteel (a collabrative partnership of eight YWCAs across Washington State) is exploring the connections between domestic violence and family homelessness. Domestic violence creates an unstable environment. Without a sense of stability and safety, you can lose your sense of home. The picture below is one of three images we created as part of our Facebook domestic violence awareness campaign.


With domestic violence, you don't have a place to go home to.









Upon leaving an abusive relationship, a woman may have nowhere to go. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, approximately 63% of homeless women have experienced domestic violence in their adult lives. Domestic violence shelters in the Seattle area are often full and have to turn women and children away. Sadly, this is not unique to the Seattle region.

Social issues are often considered in isolation—domestic violence and homelessness are often two separate conversations. So we are hoping to spark conversation about the relationship between these two issues and raise awareness about how they connect.

We decided to talk about it over social media through a simple Facebook campaign. We created a series of graphics and are sharing one image each Monday morning in October, in hopes that the images will be shared and raise awareness. The image shown above was edited to be our primary image across social media channels, including FacebookGoogle +, and Twitter.

We wanted to make sure that key community partners gave their input on our content, and so we asked the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence what messages we should prioritize. The graphic below captures one of their suggestions:

You're it... victims of domestic violence turn to friends and family first.









The third image below is to the point!

Domestic violence is a primary cause of homelessness.









In addition to graphics, we created an interactive quiz. Again, we turned to experts to help inform the content, including our YWCA coworkers and a Firesteel advisor from a Salvation Army domestic violence housing program. They encouraged us to highlight the connection between economic abuse and homelessness, but we won’t say much more about it, because we’re asking you to take the quiz and tell us what you think! The quiz is available through the end of October.

Facebook quiz

The closer we can come to ending domestic violence, the closer we will be to ending family homelessness. So let’s keep talking about it – both online and offline.

Further Resources on Domestic Violence and Family Homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness (Domestic Violence Page)

Gates Foundation blog post on Domestic Violence Housing

National Coalition for the Homeless (Domestic Violence and Homelessness)

Erin Murphy holds a Masters of Public Administration and a Masters of International Studies. She can get pretty excited about policy advocacy, especially when conducted over new social and digital mediums. This post originally appeared on the Firesteel blog

YWCA Week Without ViolenceThis post is part of the YWCA Week Without Violence™ blog carnival on issues of violence in all forms. We invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story on your blog or website, and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #ywcaWWV.

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