Homeless people are 13 times more likely to be the victims of some violent crimes than the general public, according to a new interim report.
Homeless people in three cities were interviewed for the study
A study for homeless charity Crisis interviewed 336 people from London, Oxford and Cambridge.
It found that 52% said they had been victims of a violent attack, compared with only 4% of the general public.
The report also said one-third of the attacks on homeless people had been committed by members of the public.
It said the public was responsible for one-third of all violent verbal abuse and one-quarter of all thefts suffered by the homeless.
Almost two in three people interviewed said they had been insulted by a member of the public, while one in 10 said they had been urinated on.
The report also found 67% of homeless people had been victims of theft, compared with 1.4% of the wider population.
The interviews were conducted in August and September by the London School of Economics Mannheim Centre For Criminology.
The results were compared with figures from the British Crime Survey, which tracks crime levels reported by the general public.
Crisis chief executive Shaks Ghosh said: "The results of this survey starkly reveal the vulnerability of homeless people.
"Urgent attention needs to be given to why this problem exists and how to help and protect homeless people from crime."
The full findings of the report will be released next month.