Why I Fight: The Cycle of Homelessness and Sexual Violence

October 3, 2023

By: Anju Fujioka

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The Fight to End Homelessness 2023

I will be boxing in the Third Annual Fight to End Homelessness, a fundraising event to support Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) in London, Ontario on November 8, 2023.

Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers is a proud sponsor of this event, which will bring the community together to support YOU in their efforts to build Joan’s Place, a safe and affordable home for youth, young mothers, and mothers-to-be who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

The Relentless Cycle of Homelessness and Sexual Violence

The punches I throw on fight day will be more than just a symbolic gesture against homelessness.

As a lawyer and advocate for survivors of sexual assault and abuse, I see the cycle of homelessness and sexual violence play out in my clients’ lives and in the London community. Boxing in the Fight to End is my way of raising awareness and funds to combat this complex issue.

The Statistics

Homeless people are more likely to have been victims of physical and sexual abuse as children, and victims of family/intimate-partner violence as adults. Let’s talk numbers.

  • A Toronto study of 300 homeless people found that 49% of women and 16% of homeless men experienced childhood sexual abuse compared with rates of 13% and 4% in the general population (Mental Health Policy Research Group, 1998).
  • 25% of women experiencing visible homelessness (living in shelters or rough sleeping) cited domestic abuse as a factor leading to their most recent housing loss. (Employment and Social Development Canada, 2017).

The cycle is cruel. Many victims find themselves trapped in violent situations without safe housing options. Returning to an abusive house or facing further victimization on the streets are often the only available options. To make matters worse, sexual violence leaves people with physical, emotional, and financial challenges that make it harder to escape homelessness.

Support the Cause

I’m grateful to Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers for sponsoring the event and to my many colleagues who contributed to the fundraiser.

This fight is about more than boxing. It's about breaking cycles, giving voice to the voiceless, and ensuring everyone finds safety, sanctuary, and dignity. If you would like to join me in championing a future free from violence and homelessness, please consider contributing to the fundraiser here.

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