Violence and abuse can and do happen to everyone, regardless of age or background. Young people who experience or witness violence and abuse can suffer devastating short- and long-term consequences from their experiences, consequences that can cost them their safety, their homes, and their futures.
Helping Homeless Youth Affected by Violence & Abuse
Nearly 70% of young people who become homeless say they became homeless in order to escape child physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and other violent crimes happening in their homes. Young people who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning) are also more likely to face becoming homeless, struggling to live on streets where they and other vulnerable young people face further violence, abuse, and exploitation.
Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project began in 1984 as a response to the growing number of homeless teens in New York City. Streetwork gives homeless and at-risk youth a chance to reclaim their lives, their dignity, and self-worth through urgently-needed services ranging from meals and clothing to emergency shelter, medical and mental health care, and financial and practical assistance. Streetwork makes more than 19,000 contacts with homeless young people and serves more than 45,000 meals a year.
Teen Survivors of Child Abuse
Adolescent survivors of child abuse can continue to suffer the effects of that abuse. Abused or neglected children are 59% more likely to be arrested for crime as a juvenile (National Institute of Justice), more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal behaviors when they become teenagers (Silverman, Reinherz, and Giaconia), and more likely to engage in substance abuse and other risky behaviors as teens. Safe Horizon's Counseling Center can offer help through mental health treatment for young people.
See our Additional Resources page for other assistance.
Teens and Dating Violence
According to the U.S. Department of Justice women between the ages of 16 and 24 are at greatest risk of becoming domestic violence victims, at a rate three times greater than other groups. Safe Horizon offers hotlines, support groups through our community and court offices, and other help for young people facing dating violence.
Learn more about intimate partner violence from our Domestic Violence page.