Finding Common Ground
Although runaway and homeless youth (RHY) agencies and domestic and sexual violence (DV/SA) programs share a mutual goal, there are inherent challenges to recognizing and understanding the intersection of runaway and homeless youth and relationship violence. Two of these challenges – the use of language and eligibility criteria that reduce runaway and homeless youth’s access to DV/SA services– are examined here. However, before exploring what makes building partnerships difficult, we identify those principles that can serve to unite both fields under a common cause: enhancing the safety and healing of young people exposed to and surviving living situations in which there is violence and abuse. Within several RHY and DV/SA partnerships, these shared principles were instrumental in fostering discussion and enhancing collaborations within their communities.