Indigenous Women and the Role of Transactional Sex in Homelessness. 2012

Holmes C and McRae-Williams E
Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.  

Under the National Homelessness Research Agenda 2009-13 funded by the Australian Government, the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education produced the research report “Captains” and “Selly-welly”: Indigenous women and the role of transactional sex in homelessness”.

This research study explored the relationship between transactional sex and the drivers of homelessness, and the role that this exchange played in determining the risks to homeless Indigenous women in Darwin.

 This exploratory study was guided by the following questions:   

  1. How does transactional sex relate to the drivers of homelessness among Indigenous women?
  2. What role does transactional sex have in determining the risks to this population and how are these managed?

Following a brief overview of the study objectives, a detailed examination of the relevant literature on transactional sex and Indigenous homelessness is provided.  Drawing from this knowledge base, the methodology and methods used in this exploratory study is described.  The report then turns to a detailed discussion of the research findings before presenting a concluding discussion.  Implications for policy and program development and delivery are also discussed.  The report concludes with an outline of areas for further development and investigation stemming from this inquiry. 

While the study has informed service delivery in Darwin, the findings are likely to have applicability to other settings where transactional sex forms part of the homeless experience.

Below are links to the Full Report and the Evidence Note that provides a summary of the report findings.

 Full Report [PDF – 536KB] [DOCX – 320KB]   

Evidence Note [PDF – 49KB] [DOCX – 135KB]