UBC project to receive almost $1 million grant to address LGBT teen dating violence

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      On the International Day of Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, the UBC School of Nursing had some encouraging research news to share about supporting LGBT youth.

      UBC Nursing announced today (May 17) that the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) will receive a grant worth almost $1 million over five years from the Public Health Agency of Canada for a project that will help LGBT youth to establish positive and healthy relationships.

      The funding is part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

      According to B.C. Adolescence Health Surveys, about 15 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in romantic relationships report dating violence, which is three to six times higher than heterosexual peers.

      “Risks are even higher for trans and non-binary youth,” SARAVYC executive director Elizabeth Saewyc stated in a news release. “In the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey, 24 percent of trans and non-binary adolescents who were in relationships reported dating violence.”

      SARAVYC will team up with the McCreary Centre Society and its Youth Research Academy and work with queer youth to develop an intervention for LGBT youth in B.C.

      The program will consist of 20-minutes modules, which will focus on positive relationship skills and behavior, that will be provided to and can be presented at schools or community organizations throughout the province.

      The research team will evaluate the effectiveness of the program with surveys as well as the B.C. Adolescent Health Survey scheduled for 2023.

      Creating a program specifically designed for queer youth helps to address LGBT–related nuances and issues that heterocentric programs neglect or overlook.

      “Most healthy relationship programs were developed for heterosexual, cisgender teens, and that leaves LGBTQ2S+ youth struggling to find advice that fits their lives and their relationships,” Saewyc explained. “By designing the program with LGBTQ2S+ youth, for LGBTQ2S+ youth, we can ensure it is relevant, because it reflects their reality.”

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.