Nearly 1 in 4 female rough sleepers has been sexually assaulted in the past year, according to new research from Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.
Taken from their latest press release | 13th February 2017
Drawing on a survey of 458 recent or current rough sleepers in England and Wales, including a total of 72 women, the report also shows how 3 in 10 female rough sleepers have experienced sexual violence at some point while homeless, and nearly 6 in 10 have been intimidated or threatened with violence in the past year (compared to 4 out of 10 male rough sleepers).
The figures feature as part of a Dispatches special, to be aired tonight (Feb 13) on Channel 4, examining the unforgiving realities of life on the streets for homeless women. The documentary features undercover reporters with experience of homelessness approaching a series of local authorities for assistance. In many instances, they are turned away without help or meaningful advice despite presenting with mental health issues, learning difficulties or fleeing domestic abuse.
Rebecca Pritchard, Director of Services at Crisis, said:
“This edition of ‘Dispatches’ paints a deeply disturbing portrait of life on the streets for women. The threat of unprovoked sexual attack, abuse and intimidation is clearly never far away, which is why we need mainstream homelessness services that provide safe, women-only spaces that women feel comfortable accessing and seeking help from.
“While the investigation highlights the severe pressure local authorities are under, we need to make sure that homeless women can get help at an early stage. At present, homeless people of both sexes are often turned away when they go to their councils for help. The Homelessness Reduction Bill currently making its way through parliament could help put an end to that injustice once and for all, and we urge peers of all political persuasions to offer their support as it moves through the Lords.”
Watch the Channel 4 Dispatches episode
You can now watch the Dispatches episode examining the realities of homelessness for women. Undercover: Britain’s Homelessness Scandal.
Crisis, a partner of UK SAYS NO MORE, offers ground breaking housing, health, education and employment services. They work with thousands of homeless people across the UK every year. Head to crisis.org.uk for more information.