Online Guide - pdf
Sexual Violence is a Threat to Stable Housing 
 
Sexual assault is a most intimate crime, and when it happens in our most intimate sanctuaries—
our homes—the trauma is devastating and difficult to escape. “The majority of sexual assaults 
take place in or near victims’ homes or the homes of victims’ friends, relatives, or neighbors” 
(Mindlin and Vickers, as quoted by NSVRC, 2010). Thus, for many survivors of sexual violence, 
home often is not safe. Survivors struggle with seeing and touching constant reminders of the 
assault: a bed, a kitchen table, a broken window, or the new locks on the door. And if a survivor 
must leave home—whether to get away from the constant triggers, or due to an eviction, or in 
order to flee the perpetrator—losing the comforts and familiarity of home only compounds the 
trauma of sexual violence. Survivors need a safe place for the emotional work of recovery. 
Advocates start where the survivor is. The advocate plays a critical role in helping survivors 
navigate housing options and regain a sense of safety.
 
Until very recently, the anti-rape field has not considered shelter and housing to be sexual 
violence issues. When we think and write about the crisis of sexual violence and our response, 
we typically think about medical needs, legal issues, and emotional support. As a movement, we 
often overlook the shelter and housing needs of sexual violence survivors. We seldom ask 
survivors about housing concerns. But healing from sexual violence can only happen on a 
foundation of safety and safety starts with home
 
continues, see pdf... 

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