Most of us have seen the iconic HGTV show “Fixer Upper” that turns rundown homes in a small Texas town into the envy of Americans from coast to coast. Suddenly pale gray walls and ship-lap is showing up in high-priced homes in California, Connecticut, and everywhere in between. But anyone who has seen the show can tell you the appeal is not ship-lap, pale gray walls, or Waco (sorry!) What Americans really want is to transform their own homes into the havens they see on TV.
Unfortunately, for many women and children peaceful homes are far from a personal reality. Instead home is a place of stress, tension, and walking on eggshells waiting for the next angry explosion to erupt. The single greatest barrier to women leaving domestic violence is the inability to secure safe housing. Domestic violence shelters are overburdened and are a temporary option most women will only consider when in imminent danger with no other options. Many churches will offer women one or two nights at a hotel, but most women will not risk leaving for just one or two nights because they know the anger and violence is likely to be worse if they have to return.
The most dangerous period for a woman leaving domestic abuse is during the first two weeks after she leaves her home. Realistically, women need at least 2-3 weeks of temporary housing to find long-term housing, additional income, and employment. Many women are under intense scrutiny by their abuser before they leave the home, so searching for safe long term housing and paying necessary deposits is sometimes impossible. This is why women wait to leave or obtain necessary protective orders.
With current COVID lockdowns, TAF is working to provide safe independent housing for these women and children especially in Virginia and Boise, ID. If you would like to help these women, select the “domestic violence” and write “housing” in the comments section.