One Step Further: Domestic Violence Shelters In Georgia Combat Homelessness for Survivors

An overview of the connection between domestic violence and homelessness in Georgia.

“You don’t know what freedom is until you’ve had it taken away,” said Angela S., a domestic violence survivor in Georgia.  

“The Women’s Resource Center and other agencies like it are important because domestic violence, while socially frowned upon, is still prevalent,” said Markesha Dunham, director of operations at WRCEDV. Domestic violence survivors, both adults and children, dwell in emergency shelters and transitional homes offered by local domestic violence organizations. (NNEDV) The Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence (WRCEDV) is a new force working to end violence against women by imagining a world without domestic abuse. This is accomplished by providing resources allowing women, regardless of their background, to start over. The organization envisions a system in which services are provided to all women, regardless of their identification. Creating an inclusive culture in which “advocacy, combined with our powerful work with children, facilitates prevention and the abolition of domestic violence entirely.” 

Georgia’s initiative to abolish domestic abuse in its community is significant. According to recent research, women are more likely than men to become victims of domestic violence in physical, economic, and psychological ways (GCFV), resulting in an imbalance in the gender statistics of homelessness. As of 2012, the figures will rise, as seen in 2022, with a 42% increase in domestic violence fatalities in Georgia, totaling 1,720. Furthermore, according to 2019 reports, the subpopulation of domestic violence survivors numbered 435, making them the largest community represented among the homeless. (Georgia Balance of State Continuum of Care Point in Time Homeless Count 

An astounding 86% of unmet services were reported in last year’s 16th Annual Domestic Violence Counts, which included the need for assistance in obtaining emergency shelters and immediate housing. The statistic provides further understanding to the idea that there is a relationship between domestic violence and homelessness. 

To counteract the statistics, The Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence is developing a long-term advocacy strategy. According to their 2022 Impact Report, 46 households received urgent rehousing help, while another 53 needed emergency hotel accommodations. The shelter aims to assist these families through its financial aid strategy, which provided $276,392 in financial assistance to domestic violence survivors.  

However, seeking refuge is only the beginning. The shelter recognizes that greater resources are required to achieve its objectives.  

“Domestic violence is as much a community issue as it is an interpersonal issue. Dv service agencies still exist and are very much still needed because we as a community think DV is someone else’s problem to solve.” – Markesha Durham – Director of Operations 

The problem is complex and cannot be handled with a single solution. Domestic violence is a serious problem that has deeply effected our community. Solving this crisis necessitates creating solutions that aid in the resolution of other concerns, such as the homeless population. It is urgently necessary and requires our joint commitment and action to address the pipeline that leads from domestic violence to homelessness. As a final resort, people who are stuck in violent relationships are far too frequently forced into homelessness, which increases their vulnerability and feeds a terrible cycle of suffering. To sever this harmful link, we must organize resources, push for legislative changes, and cultivate an extensive support network. Through increasing awareness, providing support to shelters, and putting in place efficient intervention programs, we can enable survivors to free themselves from the grip of abuse without having to deal with the brutal reality of homelessness.