Runaway and Homeless Youth and Relationship Violence: Research Summary
In this paper, the author briefly summarizes research findings on runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and relationship violence. In one study of surveyed homeless youth, 70 percent had experienced some form of violence; of these, 32 percent had been sexually assaulted, 15 percent after being on the streets. In another study, 60 percent of female homeless youth and 25 percent of males reported having been sexually assaulted prior to leaving home. For LGBTQ youth, males who identify as gay or bisexual are five times more likely to be victimized by friend or acquaintance. LGBTQ youth are also more likely to leave home as result of physical abuse and conflict with family. Studies of partner violence among homeless youth and young adults indicate high levels of physical violence exposure in their relationships (70% in one study of both male and female transition age shelter-based youth), with youth reporting both physical violence perpetration and victimization in their relationships as well as violence in more than one relationship.