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NEW RESEARCH REVEALS EVIDENCE & IMPACT OF CONTINUED WIDESPREAD HOMOPHOBIA

5th November 2012

Initial findings from METRO's Youth Chances project reveal high levels of discrimination, abuse and self-harm experienced by young lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBTQ) young people in England.

Youth Chances is the biggest social research and influencing project of its kind, and is surveying LGBTQ young people aiming to find out about their experiences of access to education, employment, health services, their community and relationships.

Over the course of the next three years the project aims to conduct two surveys of 15,000 16-25 year olds in total. Over the first four and a half months, Youth Chances has already surveyed 3,473 people from up and down the country, with initial findings painting a stark picture of the level of discrimination against and the problems faced by young LGBTQ young people today.

Discrimination

- 74% of respondents have experienced name calling/ verbal abuse because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 47% of respondents have experienced threats/ intimidation because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 48% of respondents have experienced harassment because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 25% of have experienced physical assault because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.

Self-harm

- Over half of LGBQ respondents (53%) have hurt themselves on purpose (self-harmed).
- 66% of female LGBQ respondents have hurt themselves on purpose, compared to 37% of male LGBQ respondents
- Three-quarters (76%) of transgender respondents have hurt themselves on purpose, with a staggering 27% still actively self-harming.
- The reported rate of self-harm amongst LGBTQ young people is higher than national statistics show; with respondents to the Youth Chances survey reporting rates of self-harm that are nearly 4 times higher in women and 5 times higher in men.

Dan Baker, Youth Chances Project Manager at METRO said:

"Initial findings from Youth Chances paint a worrying picture; the alarming rates of self-harm amongst young LGBTQ people are particular cause for concern and present serious implications for public service provision. It really demonstrate the importance of Youth Chances and the need for us to understand directly from young people themselves about the challenges they face. It saddens me that when young people need the most support and understanding, they still face discrimination and fear because of who they are. I want to encourage as many young people as possible to take part in the Youth Chances online survey so that their experiences can be counted. I am committed to ensuring that Youth Chances results in recommendations for change and a real difference to young people's lives"

Contact:
Patricia Durr patricia@metrocentreonline.org
020 8305 5000 x 136 or 07912515397

Notes to Editors:
1. Youth Chances is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is led by METRO in partnership with the University of Greenwich and Ergo Consulting. It is a five year social research project working directly with individuals, providers and commissioners to influence service provision and policy for 16-25 year old LGBTQ youth. www.youthchances.org
2. Statistics are based on a sample of respondents of 3,473 collected up to 8th October 2012 and they represent interim findings
3. The sample is a fair representation of nationally estimated LGBT regional populations and of ethnicity - at this stage.
4. A full briefing and statistical breakdown is available.
5. METRO is a Leading equality & diversity charity, providing health, community & youth services across London & the South East & national & international projects www.metrocentreonline.org

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