This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

January 17, 2008

Shelters can't help all fleeing abuse

Domestic violence shelters across the state are becoming overwhelmed and are increasingly turning victims away, driving some of those seeking help back to abusive partners or to the streets, according to advocates and shelter program directors. The number of victims turned away from shelters more than quadrupled, from 1,374 in fiscal 2003 to 5,520 in fiscal 2005, according to Jane Doe Inc., a statewide coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence that also tracks trends. On many days, only one bed will be available in the state for 100 people who call domestic violence hotlines seeking shelter. Sometimes, none can be found.

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