Home Sweet Home: Domestic Violence and Homelessness in the Green Mountain State
Half of all homeless women reported domestic violence (DV) as the cause of their homelessness. There is a misconception that DV survivors are not at risk of becoming homeless. This misconception stems from the idea that survivors often have a choice between being homeless or remaining with an abusive partner.
Often, DV survivors go undetected because they tend to keep their abuse within the confines of the house. Additionally, survivors with children hide abuse from the world for a fear child services will become involved. Nearly one-in-three women in the United States experience DV in their lifetime and roughly the same amount experience extreme DV. DV is a leading cause of murders of women in Vermont. Furthermore, DV accounts for a third of Vermont’s homicides and a combined 21% of DV felonies and misdemeanors.
Part I of this Note will discuss how DV survivors are discriminated against by landlords in Vermont, and how survivors navigate the Vermont Housing Market given all the barriers. Part II of this Note will explain how housing authority programs, in some ways, shield survivors from housing discrimination. Specifically, Part II will focus on the Section 8 and Vermont’s transitional housing preferences. Part III will discuss Vermont’s transitional housing programs and how these programs benefit survivors. Further, Part III will highlight how Vermont shelters—a temporary and short term housing solution— are being relied on for long-term housing support. Part IV will recommend changes to Vermont statutes, in an effort to provide displaced DV survivors with long-term housing. Furthermore, Part IV will recommend Vermont’s housing programs pair with existing housing organizations.
 Domestic Violence Statistics, Domestic Shelters, https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/faq/domestic-violence-statistics (last visited Apr. 17, 2019).
Chiquita Rollins., et al., Domestic Violence House First, Housing: Safety, Stability, and Dignity for Survivors of Domestic Violence 2 (2013).
Id. at 3.
Id. at 2.
Nat’l Ctr. For Injury Prevention and Control, Ctr. For Disease Control and Prevention, National Intimate Partner And Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report 43 (2011), https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.
See id. (explaining how DV has accounted for nearly half of all adult homicides in Vermont since 1994) Furthermore, in 2016, DV accounted for 15% of all Vermont’s felonies and 6% of all misdemeanors. Id. at 5.
Infra Part I (discussing how DV survivors are discriminated against in the housing market).
Infra Part II.
Infra Part III.
Infra Part IV.