The Difference Between Surviving and Not Surviving: Public Benefits Programs and Domestic & Sexual Violence Victims’ Economic Survey
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence developed an extensive survey with both quantitative and qualitative questions for caseworkers designed to understand the role of public benefits for sexual assault and domestic violence victims. Research shows that these populations are more likely to be in poverty, and their traumatic experiences can make it more difficult to overcome that poverty and the resulting economic instability. This report highlights the key findings of the survey, including the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, and poverty in minority communities, such as LGBTQ, Native American, persons of color, immigrant, and people with disabilities. The researchers emphasize programs like TANF, SNAP, and housing assistance as critical for survivors to meet their basic needs and prevent domestic violence, although victims face significant policy and programmatic obstacles in receiving this aid. The report provides extensive data and quotations and ends with a call to action to strengthen the safety net for economically vulnerable survivors of sexual and domestic violence.