The Choice Between Abuse and Homelessness

By: Janice Thomas
Director of Homeless Services

Abusers will go to great lengths to manipulate the person they are harming and to control their daily life. The cycle of abuse has many layers. Too often victims can find themselves trapped between domestic violence and homelessness. 

The abuse is part of a larger strategy to exercise control and power over another person which can lead to isolation. Eventually, that person will end up with little or no money, or no network of friends or family, making the option of fleeing the situation and relationship harder to do. A lack of alternative options often leads men and women to stay in, or return to volatile situations.

A drastic decision has to be made, leaving them to ask “Do I continue to remain in a violent relationship and have a roof over my head, or do I leave this dysfunctional situation and lose my place to live?”

Neither choice is favorable. If the person leaving the situation is single, the decision may be easy. If there are children involved, the decision becomes more complex.

The immediate need of someone fleeing domestic violence is safety. Local shelters, such as Third Street Alliance, and safe houses give victims a place to receive services before they can begin to live independently and move forward from the abuse. 

You can help by supporting Third Street Alliance, which partners with other area agencies, such as Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, to provide a safe place for individuals and families dealing with domestic violence and abuse.  

Becoming a volunteer, donating monetarily or items from the wish list, and sharing information about Third Street Alliance and other organizations with your network will make a lasting impact in your community.

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