November 25 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This week’s infographic demonstrates the connections between violence against women and homelessness. 

Violence against women is connected with homelessness in more than one way. Sixty three percent of women utilizing emergency shelters are accessing shelters designated for women who have been the victim of abuse. Thirty seven percent of women using emergency shelters are taking refuge in homeless shelters. As well, women who were not victims of violence prior to experiencing homelessness, are sometimes faced with violence once they are without secure housing. 

There is also a connection between violence and living on the street. Women without adequate, safe housing are often exposed to risks that associated with surviving on the streets. A 2011 study by Tyler Frederick found that these risks can be even more pronounced for women who identify as LGBTQ

At the National Conference to End Homelessness, Lisa Pierce and Erica Zarins presented on behalf of All Our Sisters, an organization based out of London, Ontario. In response to the lack of women-only shelters, All Our Sisters, with the London Library, reached out to women experiencing homelessness. All Our Sisters has formed a network dedicated to ending homelessness for women in Canada. Susan Scott wrote in her 2007 book, “All Our Sisters”:

“Some homeless women are visible, but most are far from the public’s eye. For women, there are many ways of being homeless, besides living on the street: staying with a violent partner because she can’t afford to leave; being bound to a pimp or drug dealer; couch surfing from one relative to another; or living in unhygienic, unsafe buildings and/or over-crowded conditions. Home is about safety and homelessness is complex issue.”

This week’s Infographic Wednesday allows us an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which homelessness is connected with violence against women. 

Women homelessness