Re-establishing their Lives: Issues Relating to Affordable Housing for Women and their Children Escaping Violent Intimate Partner Relationships in Northern Manitoba
Keywords:Northern Manitoba, Housing, Intimate Partner Violence, Women's Shelters, Northern Housing, Manitoba, Indigenous Women, Domestic Violence
Housing affordability is a significant and growing issue across northern Manitoba communities. One population impacted by the lack of safe and affordable housing is women (and their children) leaving violent and abusive relationships. Through in-depth qualitative interviews with fourteen women staying in women’s shelters in the cities of Thompson and Winnipeg, Manitoba, this research project focused on exploring the journeys women make as they seek safety and shelter for themselves and their children, and their reasons for making these transitions. The women’s interviews revealed: 1) the centrality of the notion of home for women establishing safety for themselves and their children; and 2) the complex transitions and geographic moves that women make in search of the idea of home and safety. The stories of their journeys point to severe issues regarding availability of affordable, safe housing in northern Manitoba, the lack of northern transportation services to access shelters, and the significant absence of formal support on First Nation communities. The research reiterates that there is a need for proactive service responses to violence against women and children. Such a coordinated response needs to begin in the northern communities themselves, with links to regional services and supports when appropriate.
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