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Violence Vict. 2014;29(1):122-36.

Exploring the experiences of violence among individuals who are homeless using a consumer-led approach.


Homelessness increases vulnerability to violence victimization; however, the precise factors associated with victimization and injury are not clearly understood. Thus, this study explores the prevalence of and characteristics associated with violence victimization among homeless individuals by surveying approximately 500 individuals experiencing homelessness in 5 cities across the United States. Our findings reveal that nearly one-half of our sample reported experiencing violence and that prolonged duration of homelessness (greater than 2 years) and being older increased the risk of experiencing a violent attack. In addition, increased length of homelessness and female gender predicted experiencing rape. Women were also significantly more likely to know one's perpetrator and experience continued suffering after a violent attack. We conclude that certain subpopulations within the homeless population are at an increased risk for victimization and, subsequently, require added protective services; implications for health care and policy recommendations are also discussed.

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