• Karen Aunsø Nielsen
  • Louise Schack Hansen
  • Marie Skov Larsen
4. semester, Socialt Arbejde, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Focus on homeless women are deficient both in the specific social work and in research, which is generally characterized by an optic targeting homeless men, which appears to lack a gender perspective in the field. This study contributes important new knowledge about women's vulnerability in an area, which is less highlighted in past research. The study deals with a hitherto unexposed phenomenon in the illustration; the circumstances, which affect some homeless women, become victims of sexual abuse by homeless men at the homeless institutions. Homeless women are a particularly vulnerable group in society. Their social problems are manifold and simultaneously the homeless women represent only approx. 22% of the total number of homeless, which marks women's lives in many ways. Homeless institutions today are primarily organized and structured to include men. This structure can be historically and discursively traced back more than a century and it is a result of the way homelessness and women's roles have been perceived and articulated through time. These conditions allow that institutions today are characterized by a masculine dominance which includes virility, aggressiveness and other male forms of expression. This culture implies that the homeless women in their sexual minority generally must subordinate themselves to male ratio. Moreover, the structural character of masculine dominance in institutions creates opportunity where homeless men can sexually assault homeless women, making women more vulnerable. Homeless men's motivation to commit sexual assault can occur due to various factors. Marginalization may cause a feeling of inadequacy and thereby loss of masculinity in men. This is attempted neutralized through an extreme masculinity, which may lead to sexual assault. Similarly, factors such as poverty, a weak social network, and lack of recognition in society, an obvious crime scene or an easy target may lead to motivation to commit an assault. Women can individually have a greater or lesser risk of victimization, where the survey trends indicate that factors such as mental illness, abuse and staying at night shelters. Trends also show that factors such as social protection from a partner and masculine strategies can minimize the homeless women's risk of sexual assault. The institutional conditions require a change in attitude which includes focus on homeless women. Moreover, the building of the institutions must change thus women's safety and needs are met. The survey is based on intensive study patterns, which primarily consists of interviews with 7 homeless women located in Frederiksberg and Copenhagen. The problem is addressed by a critical realistic perspective with the inclusion of a gender perspective, through intersectionality and in combination with crime theory as the phenomenon is illustrated on several levels. The structural and discursive aspects are highlighted with a focus on women's oppression through their social status as homeless and their gender positioning in the field. The crime theory illustrates in a lesser extent offenders motivation and in greater extent women's risk in relation to sexual assault. This by visualizing individual female victim characteristics and the social context for them, the latter factor includes behavioral culture and the structural organization of the homeless institutions in which each woman moves and may have been sexually assaulted.
Antal sider262
Udgivende institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 19254173