'I told my parents I was gay when I was 17. From that day, my father became very aggressive towards me, verbally and physically. I did not feel safe at home anymore. A family friend contacted the gay and lesbian support service and told them about what was happening at home. For my safety, they supported me to leave home and helped me find accommodation. Since leaving my father, I have felt much safer and more stable in my life. I’ve met new friends and I’m even considering having a relationship.' – Lucas, 19

All children and young people must not only feel safe but be protected from risk factors that may impede their developmental process. Children and young people must have the internal and external mechanisms that will enable them to build confidence and independence, which is necessary to actively participate in and contribute to their communities.