When I left my abuser I was lucky. A friend of mine put me up in a hotel, no questions asked and knew enough not to mention my name. From there my family took me in and helped me financially until I could get on my feet. My mom co-signed a lease for me because my abuser created chaos with my financial status and credit.
But what happens when you have no money nor a place to go? There is a massive gap in the system to help victims of domestic violence. Yes, sure you can apply for the fleeing abuse benefit which is helpful, but it’s not enough to just be able to get an apartment. Most victims have a bad credit history. Several factor can be in play, no money to pay bills, abuser insists they have a bad credit history and when the victims credit was good, got them to put everything under their name, a financial abuser would take all funds and allow zero access to the victim- so many things to consider.
So how can a victim who is leaving or who has left abuse find a place of their own for them and their children when most places need to pull a credit check? What options does this leave a victim but to go to an over crowded shelter who may or may not have room or turn to the streets? People wonder why victims of abuse cannot leave. This is just one of the many reasons. They would rather go back to the abuser then live on the streets with their children because they do not feel safe. It’s catch 22.
Victims have already been traumatized while in the abusive relationship, there is more trauma to come after leaving. When you are scared to stay in shelter because you may be harmed further, for example possibly raped- it makes a victim really go over their own options as to what is best for them in that moment and their children. Sometimes going back is the only option.
So a serious question; how do we have a safe place for men and women to go, to ensure that the safe place is the better option?
How do we get victims into a home without the need of a credit check or co-signer, especially when children are involved?
How can society help better protect a victim and the victims children?
I am not sure of the answers myself, but you better believe I will be asking many people. I want to know how I can help keep victims from going back. This is only one of the reasons why one would feel they have no option but to go back to the abuse.