The survey was looking at people who lived in Atlanta, Georgia.
A new study conducted by the Georgia State University professor Eric Wright, and called the Atlanta Youth Count, has found that LGBTQ homeless youths are at a higher risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking in comparison to their straight, cis-gendered peers.
The study looked at 736 homeless youths in the city, aged between 14 and 25, although only 441 were “eligible” to take part in the study. More than half of the people surveyed (56%) were black LGBTQ youths.
The study found that 54% of all the homeless youth had been a victim of some form of human trafficking at some point in their lives. When it came to transgender and gender non-conforming people, these numbers increased significantly to 71%, with 65% of them having been victims while homeless.
Overall, 64.5% of transgender youths had been victims, compared to 34.4% of their cis-gendered peers. When it came to LGB youths, nearly 44% had been victims, compared to 35% of their peers while homeless.
The study found that over the course of a lifetime, 61% of LGBTQ homeless youths would encounter some form of human trafficking, as compared to 51% of their straight, cis-gendered peers.
The report itself said: “We find that LGB and transgender youth both have a higher prevalence of trafficking compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, respectively.
“These youths require special attention in the provision of safe and secure services, as well as services that are grounded in trauma-informed care principles.”
It adds: “The full spectrum of gender identity must be understood and accepted in order to fully serve transgender youth and effectively address the needs of trafficked youth.”
Speaking to GPB Radio News, Wright said: “It’s not just LGBTQ youth, although as the research suggests, that they’re much more likely to be victimized or trafficked in different ways.”
He added that he hoped the report would help tackle homelessness for youths across the city, saying: “If we really want to get our hands around this, we really need to infuse a lot more resources and expand more housing opportunities and wraparound services for young people.
“This data is really pretty clear that we need to do early intervention.”