Higher poverty rates, lack of transportation and affordable housing, and lack of affordable, reliable phone or internet service are all barriers rural women may face in leaving an abusive situation and living on their own afterward, the report says. In rural areas law enforcement is farther away, there aren't many or any neighbors to hear abuse happening and intervene, and there are fewer trained counselors and shelters.
About one in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by a partner in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common abuser tactics such as isolating their partner to gain control or controlling finances can be easier to carry out in rural areas. In her story, Schmelzer narrates the terrifying story of one such abuse survivor, and how her partner isolated her by moving them to rural Wyoming. Read more here.