Women and children’s journeys to escape abuse are often complex and multi-stage. From initially staying put, both the behaviour of the abuser and the support (or lack of support) of services and authorities may then force relocation.
Women’s help-seeking strategies may mean that they get the support and protection they need – involving a range of different services – or they might encounter closed doors, judgement and prejudice, lack of belief, misunderstanding, and service responses that make things worse.
This conference presentation video outlines the individuality of women’s domestic violence journey trajectories – as women try to get themselves and their children to a life free from abuse.
The ongoing displacement is striking – both practically and emotionally – as is shown by the example of housing tenure, and ongoing housing insecurity.
These individual examples are taken from tens of thousands of domestic violence journeys – known and unknown to services and the state – and highlight the responsibilities on the state and those services to respond better: to journeyscape:
- Through effective policies, laws, professional practice, and awareness
- To build the infrastructure and map the terrain
- To minimise the losses so women and children retain their rights and status
- But not to determine the route that any woman takes
The principle should be that women – and their children – go as far as they need / stay as near as they can; and have a right to a life free from abuse.