Domestic violence and emotional abuse are harmful behaviors in which one person in a relationship manipulates and controls the other. They exist across the spectrum of gender and relationships: heterosexual and homosexual couples, married and unmarried couples, and those living together, dating or separated. Common behaviors include physical harm, threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, and stalking. Though anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, nearly 95% are women. Domestic violence is a serious problem affecting women on a local, national and state level.
Victims who remove themselves from abusive situations often must also tear themselves away from their homes, neighborhoods and communities. Lacking other options for shelter, victims often stay in abusive situations. Knowing that they do not have any alternatives will ensure that fewer women facing domestic violence will reach out for help. More options must be available for them to seek help.
In order for victims of domestic violence to recover from their trauma and once again become productive members of society, they must have access to supportive and affordable housing. Communities must respond with the resources they need so that women can empower themselves to leave harmful environments and get back on their feet.
There are not enough resources available for women seeking safe space, both nationally and at a local level. 14.9% of the chronically homeless population in Middlesex County last year were victims of domestic violence. According to the Middlesex County Homelessness Count (conducted on January 27, 2015), 61 homeless households reported being victims of domestic violence.
Dina’s Dwellings helps to address this need. The new facility provides ten apartment units of affordable, permanent housing to ensure that women and children can safely leave abusive situations for good.