The Scary Reality Of Being A Homeless Woman In The Winter

More than half a million people in the U.S. are homeless, and women in this group face increased hardships during the chilly winter season.


In the winter some women will find themselves choosing to have sex with someone just to have shelter from the cold weather outside — a phenomenon often referred to assurvival sex. In 2009, the New York Times reported that nearly one third of homeless youth had participated in survival sex to get by on the streets and have a place to stay. Prostitution and survival sex can understandably be very dangerous to women.


In 2015, trans woman Sasha Washington told HuffPost Live that she engaged in survival sex as a homeless woman at the age of 15 and was nearly killed by a man on whom she performed oral sex.

“I wound up realizing that I was giving this guy oral head for two hours and thirty minutes and he’s not ejaculating yet, so I need to go,” she said. “He didn’t want me to go and he tried to kill me. So he left the room and went in the kitchen, came back and had the biggest knife … and he tried to stab me in my chest. Instead of him stabbing me in my chest, he took … [the top of] my wedding [ring] finger off.”

Washington said that the man then gave her a choice to be killed or let him penetrate her, even though she never let clients do that. She made an exception for this man to save her life.

“Then I ran out,” she said. “It was very risky. I could have been one of the trans girls that could have been dead and nobody would have known about it, you know?”

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