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Rise in bullying of young LGBTI people increases suicide risk

Rise in bullying of young LGBTI people increases suicide risk

A staggering 43% of young LGBTI people have been victims of bullying over the past 12 months, with 62% saying they considered suicide, a new survey has found.

Anti-bullying charity, Ditch the Label, said in its Annual Bullying Survey 2018 that the impact of bullying on mental health showed a concerning trend, most notably amongst the LGBTI community.

Bullies impact mental health of peers

The research noted that among LGBTI bullying victims, 62% had experienced suicidal thoughts, and 31% had attempted suicide as a result of their experiences. 51% confessed to self-harming and 31% had also developed an eating disorder.

20% bullied for being gay/lesbian when they weren’t

One in five said they were accused of being gay/lesbian when they are not, and one in ten said they were bullied for a disability they have.

‘It is worrying that one in five children are experiencing some form of bullying’, said Anne Longfield, The Children’s Commissioner for England. ‘The impact bullying has on children can be enormous, affecting a child’s confidence, self-esteem and their mental health.

‘Ditch the Label’s survey shows how bullying is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.’

The research is the largest survey of its kind in the UK. The charity interviewed 9,150 young people aged 12-20, in partnership with schools and colleges across the country. Nine percent of the respondents identified as LGBTI.

‘Unfortunately, bullying remains a real issue in the UK with anyone identifying as LGBTI among the worst affected’, said Liam Hackett, CEO of Ditch the Label.

‘Of those that were bullied, 20% of heterosexual identifying young people were bullied on the basis of being gay or lesbian, clearly indicating the negative connotations still attached to being LGBTI.’

How bullying impacts on young LGBTI people.

The survey reported that incidents of other types of antisocial behaviour victims resorted to appeared to be lower than in previous years.

Truancy, alcohol or drug abuse and risky sexual behaviour, all fell. However, other elements such as suicidal thoughts, self harm and eating disorders all showed significant rises.

‘Today, young people from all walks of life are under an immense amount of pressure, to perform academically, to fit in at school alongside the more recent added pressure of fitting in and essentially competing online to be the person with the most likes, followers and engagement’, Hackett told gay star News. ‘Bullying is a catalyst for the portfolio of issues young people face on a daily basis.’

Last year a Stonewall report found that nearly half of all trans students in Scotland had self harmed after suffering abuse in school.

See also:

LGBTI workers face alarming rates of bullying in Asian nations