One question we hear in relation to domestic violence requests is – “Do we have to be married?” The answer from Binc is a resounding “No”. While many state penal codes define domestic violence as between intimate partners, we take a broader view of this problem. At Binc we realize that domestic relationships come in many varieties. Whether a bookseller lives in a traditional marriage, with a partner of either sex or in an unrelated roommate situation, any of these living situations could unexpectedly lead to an unsafe living environment. The necessary qualifier for Binc assistance is that the bookseller must have a need to move for safety or emotional reasons and be unable to afford the cost of the move. The Binc Foundation responds to domestic violence in many forms.
A bookseller in a “traditional” marriage of many years found themselves having to leave the marriage in a hurry. Their spouse’s chronic use of drugs and alcohol had escalated to a dangerous level. There were children in the home and the bookseller feared for their safety. The abusive spouse refused to leave the home and the bookseller was unsafe staying. Binc was able to help the family move into a safe residence where they had the support of friends and family as they worked to create a new and safe environment for the children.
Another bookseller found themselves in an unsafe position when their domestic partner’s criticism escalated into constant and angry verbal abuse. The bookseller tried to diffuse the situation by altering their everyday routine and trying to avoid their partner as much as possible. The constant stress was impacting the bookseller’s health and their ability to do their job. The bookseller was encouraged by their colleagues to call Binc for help. A bit of help with move-in expenses allowed the bookseller to find a new home where they could breathe again and feel safe.
As the cost of housing rapidly rises, more and more people are discovering the only affordable housing to be found is by renting a room in a house with one or more unrelated individuals. Even after doing their due diligence to assess their compatibility with the other residents, the situation can change in ways the bookseller can’t control. We heard from a bookseller who was living comfortably in such a situation until the homeowner invited a friend to move in. This friend brought along with them a drug and alcohol problem and a violent temper. After several dangerous incidents, the bookseller was feeling so unsafe in the house, that they had taken to sleeping in their car. This situation was understandably causing a huge amount of daily stress for the bookseller. With Binc’s assistance, they were able to move into a new residence where they can again live without fear.
At Binc we firmly believe that everyone is entitled to live without fear for their safety. Only when someone lives without fear can they focus on the other aspects of their lives. Through the generosity of our donors, Binc can help booksellers living in unsafe situations find a secure and healthy home.