The paper shows the significance of the issues of sexual assault and abuse to the issue of homelessness. It describes the high prevalence of sexual assault of people who are homeless, particularly of young and adult women. It documents ways that standard homelessness "solutions" may be unsuitable for homeless people who have experienced sexual assault. It suggests ways an explicit recognition of sexual assault could be incorporated into Australia's new approach to homelessness.There are 2 main issues: the increased risk of sexual assault against people while they are homeless and how prior sexual assaults can impact homelessness.
The second issue is something that many service providers aren't fully aware of and because of this lack of understanding survivors can lose access to important resources including crisis accommodations.
The report suggests taking a trauma-informed approach and to have trauma-specific services to meet the needs of the homeless and in services designed to help people with long-term housing and employment.
This is important because in too many cases where the helping systems themselves fail it is the person who isn't helped who is incorrectly given the responsibility for the failure.
Read the entire report Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (pdf).