“Our kids are listening. It’s up to us to make sure they hear the right things. Stop bullying. Stop discrimination.”
The above is from a new campaign called “The Opening Doors Project.”
Launched by the American Bar Association (ABA), the campaign, according to the project’s website, “is dedicated to training and supporting the legal and social service professionals on the front lines to ensure that LGBTQ foster youth have the support they deserve and the rights they demand.”
Watch the hard-hitting video for the campaign below:
“Youth in foster care grapple with serious and often devastating risk factors including substance abuse, health issues, harassment in foster care and school, and high suicide rates,” said Mimi Laver, Director of the Opening Doors Project and Legal Education at the ABA Center on Children and the Law.
“‘The Kids are Listening’ campaign is about creating much-needed awareness in communities across America and teaching them how to address issues of bullying and discrimination to LGBTQ youth in a way that can be immediately implemented. We can all make a difference in the lives of these vulnerable children and teens — judges, lawyers, child welfare professionals, teachers, guidance counselors, and community members alike.”
According to later, recent statistics on LGBTQ youth — both in and out of the foster care system — portray a grim reality for these children and teens:
*LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12
*LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide as non-LGBTQ youth
*80% of LGBTQ youth reported physical violence by their families after coming out
*Homeless youth suicide rates are more than twice as high (62%) than non-LGBTQ homeless youth (29%)
*80% of LGBTQ students reported verbal harassment at school (70% feel unsafe; 28% dropped out)
*70% of LGBTQ youth in group homes reported violence based on their LGBTQ status
*100% of LGBTQ youth in group homes reported verbal harassment
*79% of LGBTQ youth were removed or ran away from placement because of hostility to their LGBTQ status
*More than 4%–10% of LGBTQ youth in state care identify as LGBTQ
*Between 11% and 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ.
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