Women are less likely to sleep rough than men. This doesn't mean, however, that they do not experience homelessness. A study from the Emakunde Basque Women's Institute has found that women often prefer stay with friends, family or in an abusive relationship than to sleep on the streets or in shelters. Nearly one in three women who sleep or have slept in the street have been victims of physical aggression and more than one in four have been subjected to sexual assault.
This 'hidden homelessness' amongst women means that the issue is mostly excluded from policy development. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for more research to be done into women's homelessness - a call which has been loudly echoed by FEANTSA - read our position here.