10-18-18 Finding Community Online

October 18, 2018

Finding Community Online: An Intersectional Approach to Tech Abuse among LGBTQI+ Students

1:00 pm | 1 hr 15 mins


Caitlin Prior headshot

Caitlin Prior (She, Her, Hers)
Training Supervisor & Staff Attorney
Day One

LGBTQI+ youth experience higher rates of dating abuse than heterosexual and/or cisgender youth with 42.8% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer youth experiencing physical abuse, 88.9% of trans young people experiencing physical dating abuse, and 23.2% of LGBTQI+ youth experiencing sexual abuse. Additionally, a recent study from the enter for Innovative Public Health Research found that while 2% of cisgender and/or heterosexual Americans were the victims of nonconsensual pornography, 17% of LGBTQI+ Americans were victimized.

In addition to experiencing higher rates of abuse in their relationships, LGBTQI+ young people often feel unsafe in their schools and the community, with 61.1% of LGBTQI+ young people felt generally unsafe or uncomfortable due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.   Due to these experiences of rejection, discrimination, and isolation, LGBTQI+ youth often turn to technology for community, friendship, support, to explore their sexuality and to form meaningful relationships, with 73% of LGBTQI+ youth reporting that they are more honest online and more than 1 in 10 LGBTQI+ youth first disclosing their identity and/or orientation to someone online. In addition, 81% of LGBTQI+ young people searched for health and medical information online in contrast to 46% of their heterosexual & cisgender peers. When one adds to the equation the fact that young people today are growing up with and through technology, the importance of technology to LGBTQI+ students is amplified. 

This training will push participants to consider creative solutions to tech abuse with an eye on supporting LGBTQI+ students to access technology safely. The Presenter will ask participants to consider how LGBTQI+ students’ identities may impact: the role that technology plays in their life and relationships; the ways that technology may be used for community and safety; the ways technology may be used to abuse; and the toll that tech abuse may take on their need to find friendship, community and acceptance online. The Presenter will provide creative tips for inclusively safety planning with survivors, including questions geared towards identifying the level of risk, safety planning based on this risk, harnessing technology for safety, and considering the deep impact of tech abuse.