31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
24. Provide safe, affordable and sustainable housing options for women
The intersection of poverty, gendered violence and lack of affordable housing in women’s lives is a key site of intervention in the struggle for women’s safety and equality. Women with low incomes are frequently vulnerably housed – they have to spend more than 50% of their income on crowded and/or unsafe housing, and have to move frequently. Studies consistently show precariously housed and un-housed women to be at much higher risk of experiencing not only, abuse, and sexual and physical violence, but also acute and chronic mental health crises. Researchers have also found that the longer women who have experienced violence remain in tenuous housing situations, the more likely they are to return to the situations of violence and abuse they sought to escape. A nationwide shortage of rental housing—not just subsidized or affordable housing—results in the reality of having to settle for housing located in areas far from schools, support networks, and necessary services, further exacerbating risks for vulnerable women and their children. Provincial anti-homelessness strategies must address these gendered realities.
Women in British Columbia have waited too long already. That is why we are offering 31 things that BC’s new Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) can push for right now to increase safety for women and to bring us closer than we have ever been to ending violence against women once and for all. We are calling for 31 social, economic and legal changes, none of which are unachievable in this province. Some would require very little financial investment, and each of them will save resources in the long term given the high costs of violence against women.
For more information:
Follow The Violence Against Women in Relationship Act – 2. Audit for compliance with BC’s Violence Against Women in Relationship policy
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