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LGBTI-inclusive anti-bullying laws linked to lower rates of teen suicides

LGBTI-inclusive anti-bullying laws linked to lower rates of teen suicides

A school classroom

A new study shows detailed anti-bullying laws can help decrease the suicide rate among LGBTI teenagers.

Suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project stated LGBTI teens are nearly five times more likely than their straight counterparts to have attempted suicide.

55% of LGBTI kids live in states with no LGBTI anti-bullying laws

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has found a connection between LGBTI-inclusive state bullying laws and lower rates of teen suicide attempts.

The report analyzed 2015 data on the leading causes of death among teens ages 14 to 18 in the US.

At the moment, all 50 states have anti-bullying laws. However, just 20 and the District of Columbia have laws explicitly protecting LGBTI kids. These states reported a lower rate of attempted suicides and sexual assaults.

The study also highlights that approximately 55% of LGBTI youth live in states that do not have laws that explicitly protect them from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Including sexual orientation in anti-bullying laws can help

‘Anti-bullying laws that explicitly protect youth based on sexual orientation are associated with fewer suicide attempts among all youth, regardless of sexual orientation,” the report highlights.

‘Enumeration of sexual orientation in state anti-bullying laws is a first step,’ Ilan Meyer said. Meyer is the lead author of the report and a senior public policy scholar at the Williams Institute.

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