Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse (PYIA) - Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the leading organizations advancing civil rights and freedoms for LGBT people.

By mentoring and developing a new generation of leaders, domestically and internationally, we’re strengthening the global LGBT movement while we educate the public about LGBT issues, mobilize constituents, advance policy initiatives, and work with political leaders throughout the U.S. to promote equality and justice for LGBT people.

In schools throughout the country we’re leading efforts to help end anti-LGBT bigotry and even the thought of suicide among LGBT students. We’re also working to revolutionize the care and treatment of LGBT foster youth.

Throughout California we train social service providers, caregivers for seniors, government agencies, law enforcement officials, and others to help them better serve the diverse LGBT community.

Leadership & Advocacy

leadership-advocacy.png Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse (PYIA)

Meet Alice

I came to the Center as a victim. Today I am a survivor.

Watch Alice's Story

We’re working to protect LGBTQ youth from abuse in residential “treatment” programs.

In response to reports of abuse from thousands of youth, and the reported deaths of hundreds of young people, the Los Angeles LGBT Center joined Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA) in 2015 to launch the national Protect Youth from Institutional Abuse campaign to regulate the industry of residential programs that claim to help “troubled” youth, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

Sally FieldGovernor Jerry Brown signed a landmark bill into law in 2016 to regulate the industry of residential programs in California. The new law, first introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara, is the most comprehensive of its kind, with no exemption for religious-based businesses.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that in just one year (2005), 1,619 program employees—in 33 states—were involved in incidents of abuse. SIA reports the deaths of more than 300 people who are linked to these programs. Now, federal legislation to stop this abuse nationwide is essential because it is common for programs forced to close in one state to reopen in another, often under a different name.

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