How sexual harassment hurts LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts

As part of our mandate to make the Commonwealth a safer place for LGBTQ youth, and to report to the legislature on the well-being and needs of LGBTQ young people, the Commission has issued the following fact sheet on sexual harassment.
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Table of Contents

Overview

As these facts demonstrate, LGBTQ youth are disproportionately likely to face instances of sexual harassment and misconduct, and are less likely to have adults to whom they can safely turn for assistance. By complying with the annual recommendations issued by the Commission, state agencies can ensure that they are reducing stigma faced by LGBTQ youth, creating safe spaces, and removing barriers to services for those who experience harm.

Non-consensual sexual contact

LGBTQ high school students in Massachusetts are nearly 3 times as likely to have experienced non-consensual sexual contact compared to their peers.

Straight / Cisgender 7.4%
LGBTQ 21.8%

Skipping school

Due to challenges like these they are also 4 times as likely to have skipped school in the past month due to feeling unsafe compared to their peers.

Straight / Cisgender 3.4%
LGBTQ 14.4%

Silence

And, LGBTQ youth are less likely to feel safe talking to their parents or guardians about important issues, with 1 in 3 feeling the need to stay silent instead.

Additional info

239 School Districts were served in fiscal year 2016 by the Commission’s Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students.

18 State Agencies were issued recommendations by the Commission to make the Commonwealth a place in which all youth can thrive.

Read more about the needs of LGBTQ Youth at mass.gov/cgly.

Download the fact sheet

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