A fifth of LGB British people who went through the debunked practice of so-called conversion therapy attempted suicide, a survey found.
The survey, conducted by the Christian charity group the Ozanne Foundation, found 458 people who said they had experience of trying to become straight, out of a total of 4,613 respondents, Reuters reports. Of those 458, 91 had attempted suicide, and 60% said they suffered mental health issues after trying to change their orientation.
Additionally, 22 had been forced to have sex with someone of the opposite gender in an attempt to change their sexual orientation. Of the 458 who had undergone conversion therapy, 76 said they were forced to do so, and over half said they went through it for the first time when they were 18 or younger.
More than 90% of the 458 said they had gone to church as children, and two-fifths had been through “deliverance ministry,” which practices in efforts to cast out evil spirits.
“There are young people’s lives who are very significantly at risk,” said Jayne Ozanne, founder of the Ozanne Foundation.
She said she tried “dozens” of types of conversion therapy in Britain, Germany, Argentina, and the United States to lose her attraction to women, but that they all left her “in a negative place.”
“It makes you hate yourself for who you are,” she added.
Ozanne admits the survey skewed white and Christian, but said the results should still be taken seriously.
There is currently no federal ban against conversion therapy in Britain or the United States. A total of 15 states, and Washington, D.C., have outlawed the practice on minors, however, with New York becoming the latest to do so earlier this year.