In Scotland, women are more likely to be at risk of homelessness or unsuitable living conditions but are less likely to present as homeless. Instead of rough sleeping women are more likely to sofa surf with friends and family or stay in unsafe relationships to protect themselves and their children from presenting at services or sleeping on the streets.63Hidden Homelessness: International Evidence Review 

The gender divide in Scotland of people presenting as homeless has remained relatively even over the past few years. This is accurate from 2022/23 statistics:64Homelessness in Scotland 2022/23 - Characteristics of the homeless population

It is likely that there are more women in the country who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness but have not engaged with homeless services. These women are classified as the ‘hidden homeless’.65A Woman’s Place: Gender, Housing and Homelessness in Scotland


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Women experiencing homelessness tend to experience more severe impacts than men. Women have greater mental health conditions, higher rates of diagnosed mental health issues, more likely to have suicidal thoughts and attempts, and more likely to have experienced adverse childhood trauma.66Recognizing and responding to women experiencing homelessness with gendered and trauma-informed care

When women do present as homeless, they are more likely to cite violence or abusive household disputes as the reason for them experiencing homelessness.