Danger Zones & Stepping Stones Phase Two | Depaulcharity

Danger Zones & Stepping Stones Phase Two

April 13th, 2018

Last week, Depaul UK launched the second phase of an important piece of research titled Danger Zones and Stepping Stones. The quantitative study investigated various harms and the frequency with which they were encountered by young people experiencing homelessness.

This follow up piece of research confirmed the conclusions of the first piece of research, released in 2016, which compared the relative risks encountered in different types of temporary accommodation.

The first report used a quantitative method, drawing conclusions from interviews with young people in Depaul UK services, while the second report drew on young people all around the UK who had experience of temporary living arrangements.

One of the most shocking things that the survey touched on was the prevalence of experiences of sexual abuse and exploitation.

The survey of 716 young people found that around a fifth of young women had been sexually abused or exploited while not in stable accommodation, and around a quarter of young people identifying as LGBT had engaged in sexual activity for a place to stay.

But it wasn’t all bad news. Despite how sobering the statistics in the report are, they also show that formal supported living arrangements are safer for young people than informal arrangements.

And that includes services like Nightstop and Supported Lodgings, which offer young people somewhere safe to stay with a volunteer host, whether for one night or for much longer.

In some ways that’s just confirming what we already suspected, but it’s always good to have concrete evidence that the approach Nightstop is using has real, tangible benefits.

Head of Nightstop Nicola Harwood said: “Nightstop is a great option for young people in crisis, offering them the time and space they need to find the next steps and avoid accommodation options that might be less safe for them.

“We couldn’t carry on providing the service we do without our network of selfless hosts – and we hope this research proves to them how valuable they are!”

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