A report released jointly by Toronto-based non-profit
community agencies Street Health and Sistering has found that many homeless
women in Toronto are exposed to
disease and sexual abuse.
A survey of 97 homeless Toronto
women found that 37% had been physically assaulted, while 21% had been sexually
assaulted in the last 12 months.
"If you're locked out of a shelter and you have nowhere
to sleep, where do you go?" said study coordinator Kate Mason, of Street
Health. "These women are at risk of being exploited. They're extremely
Majority of the women also have serious conditions like
heart disease, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and diabetes
"A lot of these conditions are life-threatening on
their own, and even more so for the homeless. These chronic conditions often go
unmanaged," Mason said.