When Home Is Not A Safe Heaven: Safe And Affordable Housing Within A Holistic Response To Intimate Partner Violence

OECD governments devote considerable public resources to addressing emergency needs of victims/survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Yet a sustainable, integrated, and victim/survivor- centred policy strategy must incorporate an additional critical dimension – time. It can take months or years for a victim/survivor to escape IPV, for a variety of reasons (OECD, 2023), and for many women escaping violence means completely redefining “home”. Often they must find ways to address their physical and mental health needs, secure reliable income that enables them to live independently of their abuser, afford to maintain their current home or establish a new one, and ensure the well-being of their children. More often than not, victims/survivors bear the high costs of leaving an abusive relationship.

A vertically- and horizontally-integrated service delivery response to support women experiencing IPV must therefore incorporate medium- and long-term supports to reduce the risk of continued harm for women experiencing violence; help them re-assert their safety and independence; and curb the repeated use of limited and costly emergency services