Sexualized violence isn’t just raping. It can even include lewd comments, voyeurism, and other things where physical brutality isn’t present. It’s not a simple thing. Sexualized violence is tolerated, if not accepted: against people experiencing homelessness. More than half of women who experience homelessness suffer violence against themselves or their children. Of those women, 92% report that the violence is at the hands of a current or former partner. Worse still, 43% of them suffered sexual molestation as children.
Normalization of Such Violence
There is an insidious and pervasive attitude that people who experience homelessness do so because it is their fault. Similarly, there is an equally insidious and pervasive attitude that women experience violence, sexual or otherwise, because it is their fault.
People ignore others who experience homelessness, staring through, and walking past them without making eye contact. In the minds of individuals who have somewhere to live, that these people suffer violence is irrelevant because they are invisible. It’s “too painful” to admit that nine in 10 mothers who experience homelessness could experience sexual violence. We acknowledge the pain. We believe that homelessness isn’t the mother’s fault. Contact us today.
Hope and Recovery
Giving someone a bed and a hot meal isn’t going to solve sexual violence experienced in homelessness, but they’re both a good way to get someone off the street temporarily. Education and providing opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness are both effective at helping people find someplace to live and jobs to support themselves. Making that bed and meal safe is our No. 1 priority because we know how much violence there is on the street. Individuals experiencing homelessness deserve both safety and dignity, and we provide both. Come in for help.
We teach life skills. We provide support while individuals seek transitional housing. We give them access to counseling for both the individual and their family. When they find someplace to live and leave our program, we follow up and stay connected with them as long as they need us. Our participants are not, and never will be, “Fix it, and forget it.” We even run a summer camp for alumni families.
The First Step
Sexualized violence against homeless individuals isn’t normal, no matter what people think. Neither is any other kind of violence. Homelessness is not a stain on life. There is no shame. We’re here to help individuals through it.