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Abstract

Battering is the single most common cause of injury to U.S. women. Its myriad consequences affect every aspect of the lives of its victims and its children. In their search for safety, many battered women and their children find themselves homeless not because they do not have homes, but because their homes are unsafe. They are homeless because to go home would invite further injury or even death. This article discusses the unique issues and implications of double jeopardy for battered women, including the crisis components of their homelessness, the economic and emotional impacts, the child custody issues, the inadequacy of the homeless shelter system to deal with their special needs, and the sexism and social milieu that continue to downplay the seriousness of the problem. The authors offer suggestions for confronting the jeopardy through strengthening the network of battered women's shelters and programs, providing a specific array of supportive services, changing the legal approach to domestic violence, and radically altering public attitudes toward battering that lead to shifting the responsibility for solving this problem from the battered women's network to the community at large, where it originates.

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