Most shelters are established and designed to support survivors of domestic violence, which may involve the provision of various legal, psychosocial, financial, housing, and personal services that may also benefit survivors of other forms of violence. Despite the general value of these services, they are often designed to meet the specific circumstances of women fleeing intimate partner violence, such as security issues focused on a single perpetrator; custody; and other concerns related to the change in relationship). These are not necessarily relevant for women experiencing other forms of violence (i.e. sexual violence, trafficking, harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting, forced marriage, and 'honour-related' violence).
It is considered good practice to provide specialized services tailored to women’s specific experiences of abuse, which can offer a range of benefits including:
Although specialized shelters for different forms of violence typically do not exist in sufficient quantity to meet the demand of survivors, shelter providers can respond to all women by:
See also guidance on Shelter Planning and Design.
Next Topic Domestic and sexual violence