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NIWRC Specialty Institute 2022

Addressing the Spectrum of Housing for Victim/Survivors for DV, Sexual Violence and Trafficking in Tribal Communities Challenges

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About this event

Victim/Survivors of domestic and sexual violence and trafficking face significant barriers and challenges in finding safe, available, accessible, and affordable housing. We know that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. Homelessness and housing insecurity are a stark reality for many victim/survivors when they flee abusive homes, as a result many victim/survivors will remain in abusive and violent households. For many their experiences are confounded by economic instability. Often this is perpetuated by their abusers and the location where they live. In many tribal communities there are very little economic opportunities. Many tribes are located in deep pockets of poverty. As a result, victim/survivors face numerous economic obstacles to obtaining and keeping housing. Housing policies, including lease agreements, can further complicate a battered woman’s situation. The nature of domestic abuse often makes it necessary for a woman to leave her home immediately, but if she is the lessee of the housing unit, she may incur financial penalties for violation of her lease. Payment of such penalties is economically unfeasible for many women. Battered women may also have trouble during the application process for housing. They may have been evicted because of their partner’s violence or fled their abuser in violation of a lease, and fighting their abuser in self-defense can be seen as “violent criminal history.” For many years, women living in federally-funded housing in the U.S. could be evicted along with their abusive partner for his criminal activity. But, this changed with the 2005 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which prohibited public housing authorities from denying housing or evicting solely on the basis of domestic violence. In 2013, this protection was expanded to include other federally-subsidized programs.

This Specialty Institute will introduce the newly created Indigenous Safe Housing Center—STTARS, offer valuable presentations designed to address the spectrum of housing issues for Indigenous victim/survivors, showcase promising or best practices around domestic violence and housing, and provide valuable resources and support.

View the full agenda here.

View the list of speakers here.