Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 275–286 | Cite as

Examining the Needs and Experiences of Domestic Violence Survivors in Transitional Housing

  • Dessie Lee ClarkEmail author
  • Leila Wood
  • Cris M. Sullivan
Original Article


Transitional Housing (TH) programs were developed for domestic violence (DV) survivors in order to provide the time, financial assistance, and supports needed for survivors to achieve long-term safety and housing stability. Previous research indicates TH may be effective for homeless families, but there is a paucity of evidence related to DV survivors’ need for or use of TH. TH is an expensive housing intervention that is space limited and requires survivors to relocate at program end. It is therefore imperative to understand who is best suited for, interested in, and helped by DVTH. Thirty current survivors in a DVTH program were interviewed in order to elucidate the benefits and drawbacks of DVTH. The interviews were semi-structured, and both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Survivors in severe danger from their abusive partners and ex-partners, those with greater psychosocial needs, and immigrant survivors identified aspects unique to DVTH (e.g., high-level security, intensive services) as being critical to their safety and well-being. A small number of survivors would have chosen a less intensive and structured housing option, such as Rapid Re-housing (RR), that would have allowed them to remain in their housing after assistance ended, had such an option been available. DVTH appears to be an important option for some DV survivors, but more housing options are needed across communities to meet survivors’ myriad needs.


Domestic violence Transitional housing Housing Homelessness Rapid re-housing 



This study received support under Grant #90EV0451 to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACF/DHHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ACF/DHHS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dessie Lee Clark
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leila Wood
    • 2
  • Cris M. Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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