One in four young gay people assaulted

Initial findings of the widest research into gay people in England has found more than half self-harm

One in four young gay people assaulted
04 November 2012

One in four young gay people have been assaulted in England, and more than half have self-harmed.

The new research, which also found nearly half (47%) have received threats or intimidation as a result of being gay.

As reported by The Independent On Sunday, the figures come from Youth Chances, the biggest social research project into young LGBT people in England.

Dan Baker, Youth Chances project manager, said despite it being 2012, it is still a hard environment to grow up gay.

‘Self-harm jumped out as a really alarming statistic,’ he said. ‘Self-harm is a way of people expressing an internal issue that they might not be able to express. Maybe Britain is not as tolerant as we thought.’

The statistics for self-arm among gay people are significantly higher than the national average of one in 12 young people. Two thirds of women said they had hurt themselves on purpose, compared to 37% of men.

Transgender young adults were the most vulnerable, with four out of five saying they had deliberately harmed themselves.

Youth Chances believes its research shows public attitudes have yet to catch up with the legal system.

Baker said: ‘There’s a lot of great equality now, such as allowing gay couples to adopt and have civil partnerships.

‘But, despite the progress, there seems to be lots of cases of harassment and even assault.

‘If people are being taunted or attacked because of who they are, it shows public opinion behavior hasn’t caught up with legislation.’

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the British paper: ‘These statistics are really shocking; they ought to be a wake-up call to every parent, teacher and community leader. As a society, we are still failing LGBT kids on a massive scale.

‘Even today, around half of schools have no anti-bullying program specifically addressing homophobia. Kids are not born bigoted, they become bigoted.

‘All the evidence suggests that education can help combat bigotry and promote understanding and acceptance.’

The three-year project will eventually survey 15,000 young adults. The initial findings are based on the responses of the first 3,500.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Sudan says gay teen sex to blame for AIDS

Sudan's government blamed gay school sex for rising HIV infection rates, while the opposition slam leaders for promoting homosexuality and AIDS 
No thumbnail available

Washington fails to obtain signatures for anti same-sex marriage initiative

Washington State’s ballot on ending equal marriage has not received enough support to carry on, but we still need to act, says Melanie Nathan
No thumbnail available

Nepal's LGBTI community: A cry for help

It's time to take action to help people struggling to survive amidst the devastation of the earthquake
No thumbnail available

South Korea refuses to incorporate gay group

Four government bodies reject the first LGBTI group to apply for incorporation
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Teen charged as adult after 'hate crime' against genderqueer victim

Richard Thomas, 16, set fire to Sasha Fleischman's skirt as they slept on a bus
No thumbnail available

The rising star shaking up country music with her gay kiss song

A song encouraging you to kiss girls or boys is changing country music and promoting a message of individuality and acceptance to its hesitant fans
No thumbnail available

Australia’s leader of the opposition speaks out against discrimination

Tony Abbott defends ‘second class citizens’ but does not include gay Australians
No thumbnail available

Scottish plan same-sex marriage bill in next 12 months

The Scottish parliament is likely to debate gay marriage equality within the next parliamentary session, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced
No thumbnail available

Protestors call for end to deportation of gay Ugandan refugees

Demonstrators in London claim gay asylum seekers sent home may be beaten, raped and even killed because of their sexuality