Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Helping Survivors Face Forward

October 15, 2021 | 2.5 min read


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and an important time of the year for us to highlight and reflect upon the intersectionality of domestic violence (DV) and Homelessness.

    • According to a survey conducted by the CDC, 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence or interpersonal violence in their lifetime.
    • The Center for Impact Research found 56% of women in Chicago shelters reported they had been victims of domestic violence, 22% stated that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
    • The National Center for Children in Poverty indicated that among mothers with children experiencing homelessness, more than 80% had previously experienced domestic violence.


For years, advocates have known that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. Despite its prevalence, domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes worldwide due to various factors such as lack of legal support, social stigma, fear of escalation, and risk of homelessness. Efforts to find protection in safe and confidential locations also result in the limited visibility of DV survivors among populations experiencing homelessness nationwide.

Survivors of DV are often affected by many of the same social forces that affect anyone struggling to find and keep housing: a shortage of safe and affordable housing options, limited opportunities for employment, and mental health challenges. The pandemic has also brought about an increase in both housing insecurity and domestic violence situations.

How We Help

Facing Forward is proud to partner with Domestic Violence Agencies throughout the city of Chicago to help survivors and their children find the safety and stability to heal from the trauma of abuse. From rental assistance to connections to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities, Facing Forward is committed to working with families and individuals impacted by DV to ensure they have every resource needed for a fresh start free from violence and coercion.


To individuals in need of help, please remember you are not alone. There is always someone willing to listen, call 877-863-6338 for 24/7 support.



1. Smith, S.G., Zhang, X., Basile, K.C., Merrick, M.T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner
and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2015 Data Brief – Updated Release. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention

and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2. Center for Impact Research, Pathways to and from Homelessness: Women and Children in Chicago Shelters 3 (January 2004)

3. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. 2010. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.