Trauma among lesbians and bisexual girls in the juvenile justice system

Trauma Among Lesbians and Bisexual Girls in the Juvenile Justice SystemAbstract: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth are at particularly pronounced risk for experiencing trauma, and trauma appears to increase the risk for juvenile justice system involvement. While it is well documented that LGBTQ youth experience significantly higher rates of trauma and sexual orientation violence than do their heterosexual counterparts, the interconnectedness of trauma, delinquency, and sexual-minority status among teenage girls has not been well studied. In addition, the juvenile justice system is ill equipped to deal with LGBTQ youth, underequipped for addressing issues related to trauma, and may inflict further trauma through homophobia among staff and sexual majority peers. Given (a) the pronounced trauma-related treatment need among juvenile offending girls, and (b) the lack of research focused on sexual-minority girls in the justice system, this review will focus on recent trauma research involving juvenile justice system-involved and lesbian and bisexual girls. The authors review current trends and practices and make recommendations for how to improve services and treatment for justice system-involved girls.

Graziano, J.N., & Wagner, E.F. (2011). Trauma among lesbians and bisexual girls in the juvenile justice system. Traumatology, 17(2), 45-55. doi:10.1177/1534765610391817