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March 2012

Young people who are homeless or runaway, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) are more likely to report victimization on the streets, versus heterosexual runaway youth (58.7 percent versus 33.4 percent).

With help from families, friends, providers, and other Heroes of Hope, children and youth can be resilient when dealing with trauma. Visit www.samhsa.gov/children to learn more.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) homeless youth confront the danger of victimization at school, home, on the job, and for many homeless youth, on the streets and in homeless shelters. Young people who are homeless and LGBTQ report high rates of victimization on the streets.1

Research has shown that caregivers can buffer the impact of trauma and promote better outcomes for children, even under stressful times, when the following Strengthening Families Protective Factors are present:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Social and emotional competence of children2

Use these sample messages to share this childhood trauma and resilience data point with your connections on Twitter and Facebook and via email.

Twitter: 58.7% of LGBTQ homeless or runaway youth reported victimization on the streets http://1.usa.gov/vZjhL8 via @samhsagov #HeroesofHope

Facebook: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are homeless or runaway are more likely to report victimization on the streets than heterosexual runaway youth. Learn more about the behavioral health impact of traumatic events on children and youth, and pass it on to observe National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: http://1.usa.gov/vZjhL8.


  1. Whitbeck, L., Xiaojin, C., Tyler, K., & Johnson, K. (2004). Mental Disorder, Subsistence Strategies, and Victimization Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Homeless and Runaway Adolescents. The Journal of Sex Research. 41(4), 329–342.
  2. Horton, C. (2003). Protective factors literature review. Early care and education programs and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Center for the Study of Social Policy.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs to talk, please call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Return to main page of SAMHSA.gov/Children | For more information, click here to email AwarenessDay2014@vancomm.com