BOSTON — Nearly one-third of teen parents in Massachusetts have been homeless for at least part of the last year, with 6 percent spending at least one night on the streets, a report concludes.
Those figures are from a new report called “Living on the Edge: Conflict and Trauma That Lead to Teen Parent Homelessness” (PDF) by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.
The alliance’s director, Elizabeth Peck, noted that many pregnant and parenting teens have been abused in their homes.
“By far, I found the rates and abuse and neglect and in particular sexual abuse to be really staggering. We knew the rates were high but not as high as they are,” Peck said. ”When you’re looking at nearly half of all teen parents having been physically or emotionally abused or neglected, and then when you’re looking at nearly 60 percent of teen parents who had experienced homelessness having been physically or emotionally abused or neglected, it’s really outrageous.”
Peck said the leading cause for teen parents’ homelessness was family conflict.
The alliance report also found that nearly one in five teen parents (18 percent) had experienced sexual abuse.