One million women living in poverty in Britain have experienced extensive violence and abuse, a report said, which makes them more likely to attempt suicide, face homelessness and have mental health disorders. Poverty and violence take a heavy toll on the victims’ lives, the report said.
“The link between violence and poverty in women’s lives is not surprising,” said Katharine Sacks-Jones, director of Agenda, an alliance of more than 60 groups focused on girls and women at risk. “What’s really shocking is how difficult the lives of women who experience both can be.” She went on to explain, “Poor women have fewer resources to avoid violence and abuse,” Sacks-Jones said, calling for a cross-government approach to support women. “Experience of violence and abuse can keep women in poverty. Poverty and violence feed each other.”
14 percent of women in poverty have faced the most extensive violence and abuse, such as being victims of extensive coercive control and physical violence from a partner, or facing both physical and sexual violence. This rate is more than twice as high as the rate for women not in poverty. More than a third of women who faced both tried to commit suicide, compared to four percent of poor women who have not been abused while more than one in two had anxiety, depression or other common mental disorders. A fifth have been homeless.