OH Program Provides Housing for Sexual Violence Survivors
Friday, July 21, 2023
Sexual assault survivors in Ohio can now access short-term emergency housing through a new program run by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Research shows more than 90% of women experiencing homelessness report having suffered severe physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.
The Alliance's Survivor Coordinator Shelley Lieber said there are currently few emergency housing options available for survivors of sexual assault.
She added that, unlike other programs, the Meaningful Access Housing Program doesn't require any kind of assessment - and there is no timeframe to be eligible.
"I've had college students that we have had to try to find safe housing for them," said Lieber. "Or I have survivors that it was a partner who was the perpetrator, and the act of violence happened in their home. They don't really have the funding to leave that home."
Program applications are at 'oaesv.org.' If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 24 hours, seven days a week at 800-656-4673.
The Alliance's Transitional Housing and Economic Empowerment Coordinator Jazmin Vera said most participants stay in a hotel for five to seven days, and notes that emergency housing is meant to be a safe space for people in crisis.
"It's meant to be a temporary solution, while they either work towards finding long term housing, or shelter," said Vera, "or if they need to travel for like court proceedings, if's out of the area that they're living in."
According to the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, an estimated 40% of all sexual assaults occur in a victim's home. Sixty-one percent of homeless girls and 19% of homeless boys report sexual abuse as the reason for leaving home.
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