Violence and LGBTQ+ Communities: What Do We Know, and What Do We Need to Know?
• There is no evidence indicating that LGBTQ+ persons pose a threat to non-LGBTQ+ persons in public (or private) spaces.
• Numerous studies suggest that LGBTQ+ persons are more likely to be victims of various forms of violence and victimization, including physical and sexual assault, harassment, bullying, and hate crimes. LGBTQ+ persons experience violence and victimization in disproportionate numbers throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
• Despite the perception that society is becoming more open and welcoming of LGBTQ+ persons, victimization disparities have not improved since the 1990s (when they were first measured). Some forms of victimization, particularly those affecting youth, appear to be worsening. This has serious, lifelong impacts on the physical and behavioral health of LGBTQ+ youth and adults.
• Physical and verbal victimization of LGBTQ+ students during the school day is commonplace. School-based victimization erodes young people’s feelings of safety in school, diminishes attendance and academic achievement, and steeply increases their risk of suicide.
• Contradicting the conventional image of bias-related victimization as perpetrated by strangers or acquaintances, bias-related verbal, physical, and sexual victimization by close family members (particularly parents and the male partners of bisexual women) is partly responsible for overall higher victimization rates among LGBTQ+ individuals.