Research on violence against homeless women has focused mainly on individual rather than community-level risk factors. Using an ecological conceptual framework, we estimated the independent association of community characteristics with sexual and physical assault in a probability sample of 974 homeless women. Participants were interviewed at 66 assistance programs in Los Angeles County, California in 1997. Individual responses were linked to community-level data from land use files and the U.S. Census by the facility ZIP codes. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that women using service providers in closer proximity to Skid Row had higher odds of physical assault (OR=1.48; 95% CI=1.03, 2.14). A number of individual characteristics were also associated with violent victimization. To reduce violence against homeless women, ensuring the safety of locations for shelters and other assistance programs should be a planning priority for local housing authorities.


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pp. 203-218
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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