Sexual Violence is often a precursor to homelessness due to many sexual assault cases happening to survivors near or within their own homes. Survivors may need to relocate if the person who sexually assaulted them knows where they live or lives with them. A study done by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that “more than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.” Survivors are often left with two options, either to stay in the place of violence or leave and potentially become homeless.
Providing access to safe and affordable housing can help be a protective factor against sexual violence in vulnerable communities, while also mitigating rates of homelessness. It is also necessary to create an inclusive environment at shelters where people of all identities can feel safe while getting help. Staff must be trained to be able to respond in a trauma-informed manner to provide survivors with the utmost respect and care they deserve.