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Canada Survivor of domestic violence gets an affordable, safe home — but hundreds more are still waiting

23:11  29 november  2019
23:11  29 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Survivors of domestic violence also suffer from physical and mental health consequences, as well as a loss of social networks, that might remain prevalent And once survivors access shelter, they might face barriers to securing permanent affordable housing. A study of residents in domestic violence

The intersection of domestic violence , homelessness, and housing insecurity is undeniable, as lack of safe and affordable housing is often Although safe housing can provide a pathway to freedom, there are many barriers that prevent survivors from obtaining or maintaining safe and affordable housing.

Earlier this month, CBC News told the story of a mother who had been waiting for about three years to get into safe, affordable housing after leaving her violent ex.

After the story aired, the woman — who CBC is calling Dawn C. (D.C.) to protect her child's identity —  emailed the story to B.C. Housing.

Two days later, she got a call: D.C. and her four-year-old daughter were finally going to get a subsidized home they can afford.

D.C. was profiled in a CBC series about the struggles of women trying to find a safe and affordable home for themselves and their children after leaving domestic abuse.

She said she felt angry when she realized that without CBC's coverage of her story, she would not have had a home by the end of the month.

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I remember when we first got together; she used to ask me if it was ok for her to get her hair done. Today she lets me know when her hair appointment is scheduled Today, she sends me a picture of the receipt so she can brag about how much money she saved by buying multiple items during a sale!

“In many jurisdictions, the waiting lists for affordable housing are quite long, which is not Domestic violence is not just a problem of the poor. It cuts across economic classes, but the survivors who are It is this subset of survivors for whom sustainable, affordable housing options are most critical.

"When you line up nicely, and you wait nicely, you're waiting forever," she said. "I was able to reach out in the right way, and put my voice and send it out," she said.

"Something's not right, and it's not fair."

Hundreds others at risk of homelessness

Getting an advocate can be a game-changer for women leaving violence, says Angela Marie MacDougall, the executive director of Battered Women's Support Services.

She says the subsidized housing system does not seem fair.

"The whole housing crisis is the result of unfairness," MacDougall added.

She said her organization responds to up to 1,800 calls a year from women with limited housing options, some of whom are considering returning to their abusers. About 200 women and children fleeing abuse are turned away from B.C. emergency shelters every night, she added.

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Some signs of domestic violence are more obvious than others. Know how to look for the warning As a social worker who referred many domestic violence survivors to resources like Safe Horizon’s hotline, Johane used Get the guidance you need while you safely wait for your Family Court hearing.

How can we support domestic violence survivors living domestic violence shelters? Get Help Now. Safe Horizon has hired a housing search coordinator who works with realtors and landlords to identify more affordable housing options for clients.

Long-time housing advocate Judy Graves says there are so many people on the B.C. Housing registry in a state of emergency that it's difficult to decide who gets in first.

"What you're playing at B.C. Housing is musical chairs," she said.

a man standing in a room: Dawn C. unpacks her daughter's room in their new home. ‘Now that how we’re going to eat isn’t my first priority, building just a comfortable life now can be the first priority.’© Provided by cbc.ca Dawn C. unpacks her daughter's room in their new home. ‘Now that how we’re going to eat isn’t my first priority, building just a comfortable life now can be the first priority.’

CBC's requests for comment from B.C. Housing and B.C.'s Minister of Housing Selina Robinson were turned down.

Robinson emailed a statement saying her government has pledged $730 million over 10 years to build 1,500 new safe and affordable spaces for women and children leaving violence. The ministry calls it "the first significant investment in 20 years."

'You can exhale'

When D.C.'s story aired, she was paying $1,700 a month for a two-bedroom basement apartment in East Vancouver with low ceilings, an old carpet and limited natural light.

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Despite high levels of violence within relationships in Nigeria, wedding vows are still regarded as sacred, and He shrugged, treated her and sent her home again. Marriage in Nigeria is regarded as a prized Most of the women who come to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response

Skip to primary sidebar. Domestic Violence Statistics. I think that these men really need to get help and learn to understand that you cant keep a women if she doesnt want you I am a survivor of domestic violence myself. The system does not protect us. I am in the process of writing a book

In her new place — a two-bedroom closer to downtown with high ceilings and larger windows — she will pay $510 from the social assistance she receives.

It all came together quickly, she says.

A B.C. Housing worker showed her the apartment. She agreed to the move. Two weeks later, she's not unpacked, but all moved in.

"It already feels like home," she said.

On moving day, D.C. dropped off her daughter at daycare, and celebrated by buying herself a drink that wouldn't have fit into her old monthly budget.

"I treated myself to the French vanilla cappuccino [at] Tim Hortons," she said.

"You can exhale, you're in, the stuff is in, your baby's at school, you're safe, it's good."

a person smiling for the camera: Judy Graves, the City of Vancouver's former advocate for the homeless, says it is difficult to determine who gets housing first through B.C. Housing because so many applicants are in a state of emergency.© Provided by cbc.ca Judy Graves, the City of Vancouver's former advocate for the homeless, says it is difficult to determine who gets housing first through B.C. Housing because so many applicants are in a state of emergency.

'Start the next chapter'

On their first night in their new apartment, D.C. said her and her daughter lay in D.C.'s new bedroom. It's an average-sized room, but felt massive compared to their old place.

She said they laughed when they realized their voices were echoing off the blank walls. It felt like a fresh start, D.C. said.

As for the future, D.C says it's now time to focus on Christmas: "Just have a really good end of year for me and this little person, and start the next chapter."

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