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Housing Crunch has ND Domestic Violence Shelters at Capacity

June 13, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. - The state's housing crunch is putting a major strain on programs that serve victims of domestic violence.

Janelle Moos, executive director of the North Dakota Council on Abused Women Services, says there aren't enough housing options for women looking to escape abusive situations.

"There's no apartments or transitional housing that they can go to after leaving a shelter, so they're staying longer at our shelters. So, it's making our programs have to turn other victims away because there's no room; because they can't move folks out as quickly as they used to be able to."

Moos says the 21 crisis centers in North Dakota served 4,600 victims of domestic violence last year, along with about 900 victims of sexual assault.

Despite the lack of available shelter options at this time, Moos says domestic-violence programs can offer other services and advises women to continue to seek help.

"We just want to make sure that victims continue to reach out when they need the help for domestic violence or sexual assault, even though we're really struggling with shelter beds. We still want to make sure victims know that they still have a place at our programs and they can seek out the services if needed."

Nationwide, a recent survey by the Mary Kay Foundation found that 80 percent of more than 700 domestic-violence shelters have reported increases in the number of women seeking help.

More information is online at ndcaws.org and at marykayintouch.com.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND