VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD Most women reported that while growing up either they were victims of violence or there was violence in their household between adults.
Chart 1. VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD
52 percent said that while they were growing up there was violence between adults in their household.
50 percent reported being emotionally abused by someone in their household while growing up.
46 percent felt neglected while growing up by parents or those who were raising them.
38 percent said they were physically hurt by parents or other family members while growing up.
38 percent reported being sexually abused by someone while they were growing up.
When women were asked to describe their living situations before arrest and detention:
“I was living with people that I did not want to be with, if not I would have been homeless”
“On the streets until I find somewhere to live”
“I had a one bedroom apartment aided by section 8. The gas and light bill got out of hand so I got behind on my rent—so I’m in need of housing.”
“I was homeless—sleeping in the street or at a hospital lobby.”
“I was living on the street and in cars”
“I was staying anywhere to get off the streets”
6 UNLOCKING OPTIONS FOR WOMEN
4. NO PLACE TO LIVE
MAJOR FINDING: The majority of women surveyed (54%) reported being homeless in the 30 days prior to entering Cook County Jail.
”I am homeless. I was beaten by my husband. I was staying under a stairwell.”
Of the women surveyed, 54 percent reported being homeless (defined as residing in an emergency or transitional shelter, doubled up with family and/or friends, staying outside, or in cars) in the 30 days prior to entering Cook County Jail. Women who reported having housing said they rented apartments on their own, lived with roommates, and/or lived in public housing.
Regardless of whether or not they had been homeless in the 30 days prior to entering Cook County Jail, the majority of all women surveyed were unsure of their housing options upon leaving jail. The results indicate that even those who may have had stable housing before being arrested will have fewer options upon release. The women reported having the following housing options upon leaving:
Chart 2: HOUSING OPTIONS UPON RELEASE
32 percent would stay in a “shared place,” doubled up
with family, friends, or partners.
26 percent said other.
24 percent did not know at the time of survey.
10 percent expect to be homeless.
8 percent will live in their own place.
Common responses for “other” were wanting to go to a treatment facility, expecting to live with parents or family, single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels, homeless shelters, and living outside.
Although the majority of women are homeless upon entering jail and may have difficulty accessing housing upon release, only 13 percent said they had been offered housing assistance at the time they were surveyed.