Being a woman experiencing homelessness is unsafe, unhealthy and carries huge risks. If finding shelter, food, healthcare and safety wasn’t challenging enough… try dealing with your period too.
Often the women we support have only the clothes they stand in, they don’t have access to painkillers, sanitary products, warm water or a clean and safe place to look after themselves. They can’t curl up in bed with a hot water bottle, in fact many don’t sleep at all because of their circumstances and the risks they face.
As a result they resort to using paper towels, newspapers or clothes as a substitute for sanitary products. They may keep a tampon in longer than they should, they may wear soiled underwear and have to deal with their most intimate problems in the most unpleasant of places. There’s little dignity on offer at that time of the month.
We want to change that. We want to offer a period of dignity where women know they don’t have to ask, or to beg but they can simply pop into a Period Friendly Point and know they will find what they need.
The Solution: Period Friendly Points
When you’re homeless your lifestyle/health can cause periods to stop or become irregular so some Period Friendly Points will have pregnancy test kits available to women who may be worried they are pregnant.
In some instances they may be worried about having an infection so we will carry self test kits in some Period Friendly Points to help women find out as quickly as possible. We can also support the women to access free treatment at their local pharmacy.
From a recent Simon Community Scotland study it was identified that 70% of of the women interviewed did not know what a period is because no one has ever taken the time to speak to them.
We believe no woman should go through life without having someone to talk to about periods and feminine healthcare, therefore Period Friendly Points have been created to be that level of support and care.