Personal safety and economic security are inextricably linked for victims of domestic violence. For many victims, concerns over their ability to provide for themselves and their children are a significant reason for staying in or returning to an abusive relationship. Access to resources that increase economic stability are essential in rebuilding a life after abuse.
Women and men who experienced food insecurity or housing insecurity in a 12-month period had a significantly higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in that same time period, as compared to women and men who did not experience food insecurity or housing insecurity.
51.5% of the victims who identified a need for housing services did not receive them.
1 in 10 women and nearly 1 in 25 men who have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner missed work or school as a result of the abuse.
Progress for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims
Congress' commitment to improving the response to domestic violence and sexual assault has made a significant difference in the lives of victims. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), enacted in 1984, has been the foundation of the response to domestic violence victims, supporting shelters and outreach programs across the country. The landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), first authorized in 1994, has changed the way federal, tribal, state, and local entities respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
More victims now report domestic violence to the police: there has been as much as a 51% increase in reporting rates by women and a 37% increase in reporting rates by men.
The rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 63% and the number of women killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34%.
A 2008 study shows conclusively that the nation's domestic violence shelters are addressing victims' urgent and long-term needs and are helping victims protect themselves and their children.
A recent study found that when sexual assault victims have the support of an advocate in the aftermath of an assault, they receive more helpful information, referrals and services, and experience less secondary trauma or revictimization by medical and legal systems. They also fare better in the short and long term and are more likely to file a police report than those without such support.