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Hitting home: Exploring housing and home(lessness) in the context of domestic abuse

Jackson, Rebecca 2022. Hitting home: Exploring housing and home(lessness) in the context of domestic abuse. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the relationship between Domestic Abuse and home (lessness) and considers implications for the effective prevention of homelessness. Domestic Abuse (DA) is the biggest cause of homelessness for women in Europe (FEANTSA, 2020). Research shows that DA is still predominantly viewed from the lens of anti-social behaviour by housing professionals and there is a lack of focus on the issue from a housing studies lens (Irving- Clark & Henderson, 2020). There has been a lack of a holistic consideration of women’s experiences of DA and homelessness, too often the focus has been limited to one aspect of their experience with a particular intervention, field or sector. A further gap has emerged in the homelessness prevention literature with a lack of focus on prevention in the context of DA. The objectives of this thesis were to explore the housing pathways of survivors, to investigate the service interactions of survivors across the three planets of Domestic Abuse, Child Protection and Child Contact from a homelessness prevention lens, and to explore the meaning of home in the context of DA. Data was collected using a feminist participatory approach: 38 Survivors created housing maps, participated in focus groups and created art. Through this approach, four housing pathways emerge. These pathways and the options and choices made by survivors are shaped by interactions between three key factors: Risk, Resources and Relationships. The study found the impacts of abuse exist long after the abusive relationship. In addition, dynamics of abuse are strongly influenced by the wider community and communities play passive and active roles in the perpetration of abuse. Service responses to DA are characterised by lack of coordination between agencies across the planets of DA, child protection and child contact, resulting in survivors experiencing prolonged periods of crisis and cycling between crisis, emergency, and recovery If a survivor is housed but feels unsafe, that cannot be a home and they cannot recover while still being victimised. The Research found that perceptions of home are constructed in relation to three primary influences: choice and control; community, family and networks; and safety and security. To understand home, previous experiences have to be included with trauma, loss and grief being understood and accounted for.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Domestic abuse Inter-personal Violence Homelessness Housing pathways Prevention Support services Women's homelessness Homelessness prevention
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2023
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 15:43

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