The causes of homelessness for women are different to the causes of homelessness for men.

Domestic abuse

The biggest cause of homelessness for women is domestic abuse. It is estimated that around 40% of homeless women became homeless because they had left an abusive relationship. Women who have been in abusive relationship often have little choice but to leave the relationship with nowhere to live and limited financial means to sustain their own tenancy. It’s a difficult choice to make, and many women can spend many years in an abusive relationship before they decide to leave and move into a domestic abuse refuge.

The impact of historical abuse and adverse childhood experiences

In addition, for many women who are homeless, the impact of historical abuse and violence can lead to significant mental health issues and homelessness. Women may have been abused in their childhoods or as young women, and often haven’t received support to come to terms with their experiences. Without support, they may struggle to cope with daily life and become homeless.

Economic disadvantage

Women from poor socio-economic backgrounds are significantly more likely to become homeless. Women who are paid low wages or who simply cannot afford to pay their rent are much more likely to become homeless, and with changes to welfare systems, such as the introduction of Universal Credit, many women are likely to find themselves without enough money to cover basic costs like rent and food.