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When violence leads to homelessness

A recent study shows that the lives of women who are experiencing or have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) can be marked by periods of homelessness.

The study was conducted under the direction of Catherine Flynn, a social work researcher at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, and Marie-Marthe Cousineau, a criminology researcher at Université de Montréal. Their team collected the life stories of 46 women between the ages of 21 to 81 in eight regions of Québec.

Of the 46 participants, 25 experienced homelessness prior to a history of intimate partner violence. These women had an unstable intimate trajectory of short relationships interspersed with periods of homelessness.

The other 21 participants experienced a transition to homelessness as a result of a significant long-term intimate relationship. For seven of these women, homelessness was caused by spousal abuse. For six others, it was the result of numerous attempts to leave the abusive relationship. For the final subgroup of eight women, the transition to homelessness occurred after the final breakup, as a result of post-separation violence and deteriorating living conditions.

The researchers have shared and expanded on these results with almost 200 practitioners working in the fields of violence against women, feminist intervention and homelessness. They are now working on disseminating this new knowledge in the regions. This knowledge will contribute to improving support services for women victims of IPV and resources to help stabilize their living situations and prevent homelessness.

More information:

Webinaire : Programme de recherche sur la violence conjugale

Knowledge transfer activity held on June 16, 2021. Programme Actions concertées, Fonds de recherche société et culture/ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.