Violence Against L.A.’s Unhoused Women is a Travesty

Last week, the Urban Institute and Hub for Urban Initiatives published the first countywide study of single homeless women, and the results are apalling. The study found unhoused women had experienced significant levels of victimization both before and after they ended up on the streets.

Nearly half of single unhoused women said domestic violence was a direct cause of their homelessness. Single women were more likely to have experienced homelessness multiple times in their lives compared to other groups.

The respondents provided a disturbing snapshot of everyday life on the streets. Over 60% were the victims of theft. More than 40% said they are repeatedly harassed or threatened. 38% have witnessed an attack and another 35% have been attacked themselves. 20% said they have been forced into unwanted sexual activity.

The number of single homeless women living in L.A. County has increased 63% since 2015. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 22,320 women experienced homelessness in 2023 – a 6% increase over the previous year.

Read more about the findings at the Los Angeles Times