Protect ALL Youth From Child Abuse and Neglect

Protect ALL Youth From Child Abuse and Neglect

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Cassidy Grooms started this petition to Senator Tim Kaine

Research suggests that children can be at an increased risk for abuse when they are a part of the LGBTQ community. In one study, it was found that physical violence from a family member occurred in 30% of LGBT individuals after they came out (Youth.gov, n.d.). A similar study discovered that “32% of homeless LGBTQ youth have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at home over their sexual orientation or gender identity” (Youth.gov, n.d.). This data suggests that LGBTQ individuals are overrepresented in the child welfare system.

The Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act -- a bill that is currently up against both the House and Senate -- seeks to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to extend the bill to LGBTQ youth who are abused. Specifically, this bill would extend research to LGBT youth who may be experiencing abuse due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, provide “technical assistance” to people who work with LGBT individuals, provide grants for training individuals to help victims of child abuse who are LGBT youth, change State data reports to be separated by demographic characteristics, provide grants to States to assist in investigation of cases involving young LGBT individuals, create a State task force consisting of individuals who have experiences in working with LGBT youth, provide grants to the State lead entity to improve planning and programs for parents who have LGBT youth, involve people who have experience working with LGBT youth in its efforts, and record the number of families with LGBT youth who are served every year (S.1073, 2019). Overall, the act seeks to prevent LGBT youth from being abused.

However, one significant gap in the bill’s amendment of CAPTA is that – even though the title suggests that there are protections for LGBTQ youth – the bill only specifically mentions lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Thus, queer, intersex, asexual, and more individuals are left out of the bill and thus left out of CAPTA's protections against child abuse. While it is difficult to find statistics regarding child abuse in queer and intersex youth specifically, these categories are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and research shows that the community is at higher risk of child abuse. Thus, there are groups of people who are left out of this bill and may not be protected.

To ensure that everyone is protected from child abuse and neglect, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, or lack thereof, we need to work together to sign this petition indicating support of extending CAPTA to the ENTIRE LGBTQIA+ community. We support more research and protections, but the QIA+ portion of the community's youth should not be left behind.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!