So which would you choose? Violence with a home or violence without one? This is the dilemma faced by many women living in unsafe situations across Canada. While homeless youth experience violent crime (59%) at a higher rate than the general population (7%), women-identified and transgender/gender nonbinary youth are four times more likely to experience sexual assault while homeless than their homeless peers.
On top of that, abusers often create situations where they have control over financial resources and isolate their victims from friends and families. For many, this means trying to leave with nothing to their name and nowhere to go.
At Eva’s, we understand that all youth are unique individuals with unique experiences and we must consider this when meeting their needs. We try to understand their stage of development, help them reconnect with family supports, and provide resources to help them continue their education and develop job skills. For women-identified and trans/non-binary youth, we have to consider the role an intimate partner and sexual violence plays in their lives. We not only have to help them get away from unsafe situations but we also have to prevent the likelihood of re-victimization.
Homelessness is traumatizing. Without a Home found that exposure to physical and sexual abuse on the streets has a strong relationship to poorer mental health.
There are many ways we need to improve the world for women. This is why we must continue to Press for Progress, which is the theme for International Women’s Day this year.