Runners representing UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC), YWCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth and the City of Fort Worth have created the “Win4Women” team to raise awareness of violence against homeless women and raise funds to promote their safety at this year’s 37th Annual Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, February 27- March 1.
Proceeds from the team’s T-shirt sales will be used to support emergency response services provided by the YWCA.
In a 2013 study on homeless women in Fort Worth, Texas – conducted by UNTHSC School of Public Health associate professor Emily Spence-Almaguer, MSW, PhD, and student research teams – it was found that in one year, 61 percent of homeless women were victimized, 46 percent experienced at least one type of physical violence, 17 percent were raped, and 21 percent experienced intimate partner violence.
As a result of these findings, the YWCA has led a Homeless Women’s Outreach Committee that has identified and begun to implement system-wide changes needed to promote safety. One key change involved switching certain YWCA transitional housing units to emergency units that are now available to homeless women who have been victimized.