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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Role of Housing in the Decision to Leave Abusive Relationship

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posted on 2021-05-22, 16:15 authored by Juliet Akhadia
This qualitative Action Research explored the role of safe and affordable housing in women's decision to leave an abusive relationship. Six survivors of domestic violence shared the challenges they experienced in searching, obtaining and sustaining alternative accommodation that is safe, permanent and affordable. The research findings indicate many factors may cause women to remain in such a relationship, such as isolation, financial dependency, fear of harm to loved ones and lack of social support. Nonetheless, participants reported unaffordable housing as the primary barrier on their ability to successfully exit the relationship. For many, it was either remaining in the abusive home or forsaking their home to escape abuse which became a critical decision. While women’s shelter may provide immediate safety, effective and holistic housing policy, programs, and services are needed to support women to leave abusive relationships. Increased housing allowance for survivors, more affordable housing stock, public education on domestic violence and employment opportunity may increase women's ability to successfully exit abusive relationship.





Master of Social Work


Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type