Old Dominion University
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Division of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services

ODU Safe Space Committee


Links of Interest


National Coalition for Homelessness (2009)

  • 20% of homeless youth are LGBTQ. In comparision, the general youth population is only 10% LGBTQ.
  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBTQ youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58% of LGBTQ homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.
  • LGBTQ youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual youth.
  • LGBTQ homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%).

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (2007 Survey of LGBTQ middle and high school students)


  • 60%  felt unsafe in their school because of their sexual orientation
  • 86% were verbally or physically harrassed in the last year
  • 33% had skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe


  • 96% had heard negative comments regarding gender expression
  • 85% reported being verbally harrassed because of sexual oriendation or gender expression in the past year
  • 49% also reported physical harrassment
  • 38% felt unsafe at school because of gender expression
  • 34% reported physical assault based on sexual orientation or gender expression