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Speak out: lessons on how to support Canadian 2SLGBTQI youths who face gender-based violence

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2SLGBTQI youth, dating violence, gender-based violence, sexual violence, youth violence

Abstract (summary)

2SLGBTQI youth are at disproportionately high risk of experiencing gender-based violence compared to their cis-heterosexual peers, although there is a gap in research explaining why as well as what this violence looks like. Part of the explanation relates to ongoing homophobia and transphobia; however, more research is needed to understand 2SLGBTQI youths’ feelings of safety within their communities, their experiences of violence with partners, and their help-seeking behaviours. Given the limited Canadian research, the Speak Out project was undertaken. The Speak Out project is a multi-phase project with Phase 1 encompassing a survey of youth across Canada about their experiences of gender-based violence. From across Canada, 292 youths were recruited and asked to complete a survey on gender-based violence. The survey covered four domains related to violence (physical violence, emotional abuse/control, sexual violence, virtual violence) participants experienced, experiences with help-seeking, and connections to the 2SLGBTQI community. Most youths had connections to the broader 2SLGBTQI community and were open about their identities, but many reported being discriminated against based on their gender expression (50%) and sexual orientation (43%). Of the participants who answered questions related to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, very few reported any incidents. More youths reported virtual violence via text messages (34%), making them afraid to ignore phone calls or other contact (18%), and surveillance of their social media (18%). These results contribute valuable knowledge on the experiences of Canadian 2SLGBTQI youths and have important implications for both education and frontline service provision.

Publication Information

Wright, J., Zidenberg, A.M., Fraser, L., Peter, T., Cameron, L., & Jakubiec, B. (2023). Speak out: Lessons on how to support Canadian 2SLGBTQI youths who face gender-based violence. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 32(3), 251-263.


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