Friday, 25 May 2018

Attorney General Grewal Opposes Justice Department Ending Data Collection on Violence Against LGBTQ Youth

LGBTQ Youth Almost Twice as Likely to be Bullied and Threatened at School

TRENTON – New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today joined a coalition of Attorneys General from throughout the U.S. in urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reverse its decision to end the collection of crime victimization data related to violence against LGBTQ youth.

“The proposed rollback in data collection would keep parents, schools, law enforcement and policy experts in the dark on an all-too-common form of crime – victimization of LGBTQ youth,” cautions a multi-state letter signed by Grewal and addressed to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C.

Snapshot of the letter Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington, wrote to oppose
the United States Department of Justice’s (USDOJ) proposal to terminate the collection of data
relating to violence against LGBTQ youth aged 16-18.

Today’s letter was prompted by a DOJ decision to change its data collection policy for the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of DOJ and is considered a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, research institutions and the LGBTQ advocacy community in tracking trends in crime and violence. In 2016, DOJ decided to add questions about respondents’ sexual orientation and gender identity to the survey. DOJ is now raising the age at which those survey questions are asked from 16 to 18, ostensibly due to “concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents.”

However, the letter signed by Attorney General Grewal notes that NCVS questions relating to a crime victim’s sexuality are completely voluntary and confidential. The letter also cautions that ending the survey practice of asking 16-to-18-year-olds about their sexual orientation and identity will eliminate a valuable source of information on violence against LGBTQ youth.

“Stakeholders use the information in this survey to address the widespread bullying, threats and actual violence against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the letter points out.

According to the National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 85 percent of the 302 LGBTQ students surveyed in New Jersey said they heard negative remarks about gender expression in school. Nearly 80 percent heard homophobic remarks.

And a 2017 report published by DOJ and the U.S. Department of Education showed that LGBTQ youth are almost twice as likely to be bullied and threatened or injured by a weapon at school; almost twice as likely to be in a physical fight; and more likely than others to be offered, sold or given illegal drugs at school.

“LGBTQ youth count on law enforcement officials like USDOJ and the state Attorneys General to protect them,” the letter contends, “and depriving us of relevant data will unnecessarily constrain our efforts to do so.”

Copy edited by Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifeline. He spends his time by reading, swimming, hiking, cycling and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management.Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modelled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly.Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building the strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked and shared. He can be reached at his personal email: mediaiss@gmail.com.

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