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Is Violence one of the Causes of Homelessness Among Women in Society?

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Violence leading to Homelessness in the lives of Women

It’s always been said that poverty is linked to violence. It was believed that homeless people were the ones that cause the most crime. What if it was the other way around? Violence indeed is the cause of poverty. The rates of poverty for women being much higher than men are due to the high rates of violence in their lives. This is evident through the lives of Aboriginal women, divorced women, or prostitutes who have ran away from home from getting threatened, and the silence that makes people ignore the violence The violence women experience has direct effect, threatening their physical and emotional wellbeing of a women, and putting negative effects into their lives leaving them homeless.

If there is something that is even more horrific than the violence itself, it is the silence within which this violence is allowed to continue. Silence is probably the greatest shame of all. Silence influences violence and has the majority of people turn a blind eye to this and ignore it. There are many suicidal cases about aboriginals, or missing aboriginal mothers or daughters that do not even make the headline because the non-aboriginal community is not interested in giving them that importance. We keep quiet and send the message that we do not care about it enough to stop it. As Anita Olson points out, Violence then leads to poverty; most aboriginal women are homeless because they’re ones who have gone through a lot of violence. They are the victims of serious human rights violations, an example being the gap that does not have them protected for a spouse’s right for equal division of property. (Anita) As Anita Olsen pointed out, this is because Aboriginal women do not get equal assets when they leave their spouse because of violence and having no choice but to live on the streets. Aboriginal women face a lot of violence though it is not always physical but psychological and emotional. As Anita Olsen mentions, “In particular, racialized violence targeting Aboriginal Women is especially disturbing because these experiences are passed on intergenerational to children.” The lack of awareness makes it seem the public just does not want to know about the violence that these women face leading them to direct negativity causing them to live on the streets If government treats people with inequality then it makes it even easier for others to do the same. Aboriginal women are not only discriminated but also face consequences of racism. There are 42.7 percent of Canadian Aboriginals that live in poverty. Even in the areas of education there is a huge gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginal women with university degrees. (Olsen) This not being changed shows that these women face a lot of mental violence as this racism and discrimination stresses them out. Government treating women with inequality makes others want to do the same which makes direct negativity towards women. The violence against women threatens their physical and emotional happiness leading them to live on the streets. As Lee Lakeman indicates, There are also Aboriginal mothers and daughters that face violence at home but are too afraid to stand up against it, in fear of becoming homeless. “Aboriginal women have been talking about this for years as a factor in violence against women on and off reserves.” (Lakeman) Society not caring about Aboriginal people being silence, has made women to afraid to even try to stand up for their beliefs effecting their lives by running away from their homes.

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Next, divorced women have a high rate of homelessness. This is because their spouse threatens them to leave without taking any share in the property and also to not ask for child support. As Janice and Miller Du mont refers, Homeless women in Canada are divided into two categories, one being visible and one being hidden. Visible are ones we can find and spot such as ones who have access to shelter or ones who live outdoors. Hidden are ones who do not have homes and live in other people’s homes or those who live in unsafe areas. (Du mont) As Janice and Miller identifies this is because, divorced women get threaten by their spouses asking them to leave empty hands without taking any share in the property. This makes women to live on the street without having to bring their belongings with them. This experience women go through have an impact on heir lives destroying their emotional wellbeing of a women. As Victoria Bailey proves, “The main reason women in Canada become homeless is violence.” Even women who leave abusive relationships and go to a mixed shelter face violence because men there harass them by hitting on them. (Bailey) As Victoria Bailey said, this is because men harassing women by hitting on them has negative effect on women causing domestic violence leading them back to become homeless. This then has women leave those shelters and perhaps go and live in at a friend house or even on the streets. Though some may not consider this as being homeless, the reality is that this makes them just as homeless as people living on streets. However, Victoria Bailey mentions, Though some women leave an abusive relationship and get divorced they are still afraid of their spouse and do not ask for child support or share of property.(Bailey) This is because their spouse threatens them and denies them from their own rights. They ask them to leave without taking any share which make them afraid to ask so they get up and leave being afraid. This violence women experience has direct effect, into their lives leaving them homeless.

As Janice and Miller Du Mont, refers, “There are a 100 million people who are homeless worldwide” Canada does not provide statistics on the homelessness. However it had been estimated that there are 200, 000 homeless people nationally. (Du Mont, Janice, and Miller) This is because, the harsh violence women experience from society which are getting threaten, being asked to leave without any share, inequality, and silence which had direct effect in their lives, making them have no choice but to run away from their homes becoming homeless. There are a lot of young women who have ran away from violent homes in search for a safer place but haven’t been able to find it. This led them to finding easy routes of finding money such as prostitution or even drug trafficking. As Lee Lakeman states, “Drug Trafficking and Prostitution are replacing welfare, health care and education as the hope of destitute.” (Lakeman) The younger women leaving home and not being able to find a job being homeless and jobless are ones who are easily frustrated and go into fields such as prostitution. Even women in prostitution face a lot of different aggressiveness from men, and perhaps become the victim of violence. This then means that though some women are able to escape violence at home they face other violence acts even when homeless. This shows that the rates of homeless women are much higher than men and seem never ending. The feminization of poverty is continuing to rise as the years pass by. The Charter of Rights and Freedom are also violated under this topic.

Violence is directly linked to poverty and any other problems associated with poverty such as criminal acts is also linked to poverty. The rates of homelessness are rising due to the higher rates of violence. This is shown through the lives of Aboriginal women, divorced women and prostitutes. This relates to the human rights course because women are not being provided with the basic needs of a human such as food, shelter and clothing. The most important of the three being a home making women live on the streets or perhaps at a relative or friends house. This violates their rights as a human and also reflects upon the charter of rights and freedom, as it does not give them a basic life worth living.

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