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Media opportunity: More research and resources needed to better support women left homeless due to intimate partner violence: Dalhousie study

Posted by Communications and Marketing on November 25, 2021 in News

Rates of intimate partner violence have risen sharply over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many of the mostly female victims to face homelessness or housing insecurity. The combined trauma from abuse and a lack of shelter can be devastating for women’s physical and mental health, as well as the security of themselves and their children.

Yet, women’s homelessness continues to be undercounted and underserviced internationally, with much uncertainty around what works best to prevent it and meet the needs of women experiencing violence. Indeed, research on homelessness can be blind to gender and focused on male samples.

To address that knowledge gap, Dr. Alexa Yakubovich, an assistant professor in Dalhousie University’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, for the first time reviewed international studies on how the provision of housing affects the physical, psychosocial and economic well-being of women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV).

Dr. Yakubovich, along with researchers in Ontario and the U.S., found that mental health outcomes improve substantially when housing solutions are available: women feel safer and experience less stress, their anxiety and depression are reduced, and they are more likely to feel supported in leaving their violent partner.

The review, however, also revealed a lack of resources devoted to studying the problem and evaluating potential solutions, such as transitional housing, models that involve removing violent partners from the family home and housing subsidies for women experiencing violence and homelessness.

Dr. Yakubovich, whose paper was published in The Lancet Public Health to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today, is available to discuss the findings and the growing need for safe and supportive housing for women escaping IPV, which is largely unmet in most countries.


Media contact:
Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University
Cell: 1-902-220-0491


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