Homelessness and sexual assault

Author(s)Morrison, Zoe
Title Homelessness and sexual assault
Source ACSSA Wrap no7, 2009, Melbourne.
Date 2009
Document type Research report
Coverage Australia
URL http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/pubs/wrap/w7.html
Summary This article examines the needs of victims of sexual assault who are experiencing homelessness. The issues relating to crisis and shelter accommodation are discussed, including the fact that many shelters are not trauma informed and may be unable to deal with a victim's angry outbursts or other trauma related behaviour. It is suggested that it is necessary for service and policy provision to recognise the experience of sexual assault and other trauma facing many homeless people. A trauma-informed service model is proposed with a number of important characteristics, such as safety, and understandings of sexual assault victims who are experiencing homelessness, outlined. Future research needs are identified; including research in an Australian context, groups of homeless people not currently represented in Australian literature, such as Indigenous, people living in rural and remote areas and an examination of the specific pathways to homelessness caused by sexual assault and abuse.
Keywords Sexual assault; homelessness; service delivery; trauma
Topic Sexual assault; service delivery