About the Issues
About Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Homelessness
Sexual assault, domestic violence and youth family homelessness are extremely complex issues with a long history in our society. Successfully addressing these traumas for individuals, families and communities requires a firm understanding of symptoms and causes, as well as the best, most effective strategies for helping survivors overcome and rebuild their lives.
How These Issues Intersect
Video produced by National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women, youth, and families with children.
- Often, survivors must choose between abuse and homelessness. A lack of alternative housing often leads survivors to stay in or return to violent relationships. Studies have shown that about 45% of survivors had previously stayed in abusive relationships because they had nowhere to go. (Source)
- Women who have experienced recent or ongoing domestic violence were far more likely to face eviction than other women. (Source)
- More than 90% of homeless mothers report they have been physically and/or sexually abused over their lifetimes.
- While people at all income levels experience domestic violence, those earning lower incomes experience domestic violence at higher rates than those with higher household incomes. Women with household incomes of less than $7,500 are 7 times as likely as women with household incomes over $75,000 to experience domestic violence. (Source)
- Those who identify as nonbinary or LGBTQ+ are often even more likely to experience abuse, which is compounded by homophobia and transphobia. Transgender women who experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were nearly 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual violence and nearly 4 times more likely to experience financial abuse than survivors who did not identify as transgender women. (Source)
- National statistics show that at least 45% of domestic violence survivors report being sexually assaulted by their abuser.
- 21-42% of homeless youth report experiencing sexual abuse.
- African Americans account for 40% of people experiencing homelessness — and half of homeless families with children — but 13% of the general population.
- LGBTQ homeless youth represent up to 40% of all young people experiencing homelessness, but 7% of the general population of youth.
About Domestic Violence
The CDC reports that over 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 3 men in the United States experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Those who identify as nonbinary or LGBTQ+ are often even more likely to experience abuse.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual intended to exert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate or family relationship. Domestic violence comes in many forms, such as physical violence, emotional abuse, isolation of the victim, economic abuse, intimidation, coercion, and threats. Abusers isolate survivors from social, financial, and other help, often leaving survivors to choose between returning to their abuser or becoming homeless. Domestic violence impacts all races, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes.
Get the facts. Learn more about domestic violence.
About Sexual Assault
Every 92 seconds, another person is sexually assaulted. Like domestic violence, sexual assault is about power and control and can take many forms. It refers to any physical act of a sexual nature that occurs without a person’s consent.
Get the facts. Learn more about sexual assault.
About Youth and Family Homelessness
Homelessness is one of our nation’s most misunderstood and vexing social problems. Every year, 600,000 families with 1.35 million children experience homelessness in the United States, making up about 40 percent of the homeless population over the course of the year.
Additionally, 1 in 10 youth ages 18-25 experience homelessness each year. Many youth are even more likely to face this instability: Black or African American youth have an 83% higher risk of experiencing homelessness; Hispanic, non-wihte youth have a 33% higher risk; and LGBTQ+ youth have a 120% higher risk. Young parents are 200% more likely to experience homelessness, and young families comprise a significant portion of Doorways’ clients.
Get the facts. Learn more about family homelessness.
LGBTQ+ Abuse and Homelessness
Although domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness can and do impact everyone, those who identify as LGBTQ+ are even more likely to experience one or more of these traumas in their lifetime. Furthermore, for LGBTQ+ adults, youth and kids, homophobia and transphobia put people at higher risk of abuse and homelessness, and compound violence and instability. Learn more.
Creating a Brighter Future
By educating the community and ourselves about these important issues, together, we can offer a safe home for those in crisis, the tools they need to rebuild their lives and a pathway to long-term, affordable housing. Learn more about our work.