the difficulty of victims in a toxic relationship

The city’s housing crisis has unparalleled effects, especially on people caught up in a toxic relationship. The price and availability of housing only pushes people into this relationship that they are trying to escape.

This is the case of Elizabeth*. For nearly four years, she was under the control of an abusive and substance -abusing partner. Housing and various government programs have enabled him to get out of it and find new housing.

It was in a subsidized apartment where she had just moved in a few days ago that Elizabeth, 43, mother of two young children, was telling between boxes and toys her journey towards freedom.

“I don’t know what to do anymore, I feel like I’m in jail”

His former partner used cocaine and alcohol. He also abused her many times. While her salary as a civil servant was high, Elizabeth saw her money evaporate to pay for her ex -husband’s drinks.

Their four -and -a -half became a place of consumption by many of his partner’s friends. They came there to eat the crack using the spoons used to feed her daughter.

It’s not just physical violence, it’s more psychological and economic violence. He took his money, and he took my money too.


As the situation worsened, he repeatedly decided to leave. However, the housing crisis has limited only his options. He found a three-and-a-half semi-basement at a cost of $ 850. It was his bank history damaged by his spouse’s abuses that ended his dreams of freedom.

“I tried to leave and get myself an apartment, but I had no good credit for him. And my name is [signalé] to the Housing Authority. […] I have no other alternative but to go back to the center to get out, because even though I can’t rent an apartment, I trust him, ”he said.

Women are ‘stuck’ in the housing crisis

According to the latest report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average rent for an unoccupied residence in the Montreal metropolitan area is $ 1,001. In Montréal, it costs an average of $ 1,124 for four and a half unemployed and $ 906 for three and a half.

According to the spokesperson of the Popular Action Front on Urban Redevelopment (FRAPRU), Véronique Laflamme, the housing shown today is more expensive than the figures presented in February at the CMHC.

Faced with the price of rents and the few options they have available, some women have little choice but to go to the streets to escape their relationship.

The president and founder of La rue des femmes, Léonie Couture, explained the urgent need to build houses. It has to be really cheap to provide a lasting option to women who are victims of a toxic relationship.

“If there is a cheap house, there are a lot of women who are not there. […] We can no longer find shelter for them, ”added Ms. Couture.

Between the cold outside and being with an abusive person, the choices aren’t that great. […] We saw women leave and take to the streets. And, at some point, they will come back [avec leur conjoint] for they have no home. They needed a place and we were always overwhelmed.

Léonie Couture, president and founder of La rue des femmes

Claudine Thibaudeau is a social worker and responsible for clinical support for SOS violence conjugale. According to him, the housing crisis has a direct impact on the service provision of housing.

“The length of accommodation in houses has increased because of this, because they can’t find housing or it’s not cheap,” said Claudine Thibaudeau.

*Fictitious name

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