- Written by Ren Autrey
Being a outside is a scary place to be for anyone. But as a woman, there is the added constant fear of sexual assault. You are either hyper-aware of your vulnerability and efforts to stay safe, or you are putting yourself into danger of being raped, or worse. I have personally experienced it, as probably any woman who has spent any amount of time being homeless has experienced it. It is a fight for your life before, during and after, and then comes the fear and confusion on how should we handle the situation? How do we survive this, and for a lot of us we add the word - again?
Every person has a different story, and it's true that sexual assault is hard to talk about. It thrives in an environment of silence and may cause fear, embarassment, shame and guilt for the victim/survivor. Those affected by sexual assault, especially homeless women are often silenced by these feelings every day. The abusers depend on this silence and their place of vulnerability to keep the cycle of abuse going. We need to support victim/survivors in a way that they can find their voice and try to find real safety in this crazy world.