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  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Research on the Intersection of RHY and Relationship Violence

Current statistics show an average of twenty to thirty-five percent of youth involved in dating relationships report experiencing current or past incidences of dating violence.1,2 Adolescents who have run away from home, are homeless, or are unstably housed experience substantially higher rates of dating violence and victimization than their stably housed peers.3, 4, 5  Several factors contribute to the high rates of relationship abuse and victimization within the runaway and homeless youth population, including limited access to resources and increased exposure to street culture.6, 7 In addition, homeless youth may engage in subsistence strategies that place them at greater risk for relationship violence, such as survival sex, that increase their visibility and proximity to potential perpetrators.

Many runaway and homeless youth have “multiple histories of trauma”

Sexual orientation and gender identity increase risk for victimization

How youth define “intimate partners” and “dating relationships” varies significantly

For a fully cited research summary, click here. For more research and articles on the experience of relationship violence by runaway and homeless youth, click here.

1. Bossarte, R.M., Simon, T.R., & Swahn, M.H. (2008). Clustering of adolescent dating violence, peer violence, & suicidal behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 815-833.
2. Wolf, K.A. & Foshee, V.A. (2003). Family violence, anger expression styles, & adolescent dating violence. Journal of Family Violence, 18(6), 309-316.
3. Lee, B.A. & Schreck, C.J. (2005). Danger on the streets: Marginality & victimization among homeless people. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 1055-1081.
4. Whitbeck, L.B. & Hoyt, D.R. (1999). Nowhere to grow: Homeless & runaway adolescents & their families. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
5. Chen, X., Thrane, L., Whitbeck, L.B., Johnson, K.D., Hoyt, D.R. (2007). Onset of conduct disorder, use of delinquent subsistence strategies, & street victimization among homeless & runaway adolescents in the Midwest. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22, 1156-1183.
6. Tyler, K.A., Hoyt, L.B., Whitbeck, L.B. & Cauce, A.M. (2001). The impact of childhood sexual abuse on later sexual victimization among runaway youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 151-176.
7. Whitbeck, L.B. & Hoyt, D.R. (1999). Nowhere to grow: Homeless & runaway adolescents & their families. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
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