This guide focuses on adapting advocacy skills to help young people who experience homelessness and sexual violence build resiliency and lessen their traumas. It has three aims: (a) to provide an overview for the intersections between identity, trauma experiences, and resiliency among youth who are homeless; (b) to highlight core skills and techniques for advocates; and (c) to discuss how to tailor these skills in order to improve services for youth who identify as LGBTQ.
Also available is an infographic, Homeless Youth & Sexual Violence, which illustrates statistics that show the link between youth homelessness and sexual violence.
Young people who are homeless also often are sexually assaulted. You can help by listening to youth who have been harmed by homelessness and sexual violence. Your support can make a positive difference in their lives over time. (see references)
Did you know there’s a link between sexual violence and housing? Sexual violence can jeopardize a person’s housing. Lack of housing or inadequate shelter can increase the risk for sexual violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10 percent of women and 8 percent men who experienced housing insecurity in the past year had a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence. This infographic explores the intersections between housing and sexual violence. For more information on this topic, download the Housing and Sexual Violence Information Packet. (see references)
Assaults in the home Colombino, N., Mercado, C. C., & Jeglic, E. L. (2009). Situational aspects of sexual offending: Implications for residence restriction laws. Justice Research and Policy, 11, 27-43. doi:10.3818/JRP.11.2009.27
Victims relocating Keeley, T. (2006). Landlord sexual assault and rape of tenants: Survey findings and advocacy approaches. Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, 40 (7-8), 441-450.
Witnessing an assault Kipke, M., Simon, T., Montgomery, S., Unger, J., & Iverson, E. (1997). Homeless youth and their exposure to and involvement in violence while living on the streets. Journal of Adolescent Health, 20, 360-367. doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(97)00037-2
Victims of physical or sexual violence Kushel, M. B., Evans, J. L., Perry, S., Robertson, M. J., & Moss, A.R. (2003). No door to lock: Victimization among homeless and marginally housed persons. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163, 2492-2499. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.20.2492
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence created a one page fact sheet describing the housing protections implemented by the Violence Against Women Act and implications for survivors of sexual violence.
This report presents findings on the intersections between food access, water, sanitation, housing and the incidence of sexual violence in camps for displaced persons outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It also provides recommendations for action to improve access to basic needs and prevent sexual violence.
Sexual assault is a most intimate crime, and when it happens in our most intimate sanctuaries—our homes—the trauma is devastating and difficult to escape. Healing from sexual violence can only happen on a foundation of safety and safety starts with home. In this paper, we will consider issues and advocacy related to emergency shelter and longer-term housing for sexual violence survivors.
Safe, affordable, and stable housing can be a protective factor against both sexual violence perpetration and victimization. In 2008, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center partnered with the Victims Rights Law Center, National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project, Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, University of New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania Community Legal Services to develop and conduct a national survey on housing and sexual violence. The information gained from this study led to the development of several resources to support advocacy at the intersections of housing and sexual violence.
This research brief explores the relationship between housing issues, homelessness, and sexual violence. The research reviewed indicates that residents of subsidized housing and people who are homeless experience disproportionate rates of sexual violence.
The relationship between sexual violence and housing is multi-layered and complex. Safe and affordable housing is a protective factor against sexual violence (both victimization and perpetration) and a basic need in recovering from a sexual assault. The majority of sexual assaults take place in or near victims’ homes or the homes of friends, relatives, or neighbors. Because of this, many victims wish to relocate after their sexual assaults, but often find they cannot do so because of limited resources. The effects of sexual violence can create an economic downward spiral for many victims, jeopardizing their access to safe and affordable housing. Homelessness increases the risks for both sexual violence perpetration and victimization.
This collection was developed by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center to assist communities in developing more effective strategies to address this complex issue. Additional resources, including book titles, articles, reports, and journals can be found by browsing the library at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center or sending information requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe, affordable housing is not only a basic human right and need; safe, affordable housing is a critical component of the healing process for sexual violence victims and survivors. Too many victims and survivors lose their housing as a result of sexual violence or find themselves trapped in homes where they have to endure further sexual victimization because there are no other affordable, safe options. When public policies and practices are informed by the housing needs of sexual violence victims and survivors, society can do much to alleviate the burden of sexual violence not only on individual victims and survivors, but on larger communities. This report provides a summary of key findings from a national survey of advocates on housing and sexual violence.
This site is supported by Grant/ Cooperative Agreement No. 1UF2CE002359-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.