Conceptualizing Housing Instability: Experiences with Material and Psychological Instability Among Women Living with Partner Violence

Patricia O’Campo, Nihaya Daoud, Sarah Hamilton-Wright, James Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although recent research has documented that partner violence places women at risk of homelessness and material housing instability, sparse evidence yet documents the existence or importance of psychological housing instability for this group. We draw from 45 women’s reports of their experiences of housing instability across three periods: while living with their abusive partner, immediately after leaving the partner, and long after leaving. Housing instability—material and especially psychological—was a major concern for women across all periods, along with co-occurring social, familial, financial, mental health, and violence related problems. In the absence of coordinated services models, access to and navigation of available services to address these simultaneous problems posed important challenges for these women. The concept of housing instability should be expanded to include psychological instability, and, for women who are experiencing abuse, should be considered alongside numerous social and health problems that exacerbate housing precarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalHousing Studies
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Housing stability
  • Low income
  • Shelters
  • Transitional housing
  • Women

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