HRC Blog

New Study Finds LGBT Youth at Higher Risk of Dating Violence

Post Submitted by Steffi Mangelsdorf, HRC Foundation Intern

Stories of school bullying and harassment are well-documented among LGBT youth. But a new report out of the Urban Institute sheds light on an issue not often talked about in the news media: teenage dating violence.  

The new report surveyed 3,745 grade school students who reported being in a relationship or having been in one during the previous year. Researchers found that 43% of LGBT youth reported being victims of physical dating violence, compared to just 29% of heterosexual youth. Numbers were even higher for victims of emotional abuse (59% of LGBT youth versus 46% of heterosexual youth). Transgender youth had some of the highest rates of victimization, despite making up a tiny percentage of the total respondents. Interestingly, LGB victims of teen dating violence were more likely to seek help and advice than their heterosexual counterparts.

Researchers stress the importance of prevention and intervention efforts to address the needs and vulnerabilities of LGB and transgender victims of dating violence. Previous studies have shown that risk factors for dating violence include depression and lack of social acceptance, both of which are disproportionately high among LGBT youth.

HRC is committed to improving the lives and well-being of LGBT youth everywhere. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, go to the GLBT National Help Center, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE.

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