Celebrating Pride Month and Highlighting Support for LGBTQ+ Surivors

 
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Sexual violence affects all demographics and all populations.  The LGBTQ+ community is impacted at an alarming rate that is higher than the average population.  This is exacerbated by the lack of resources, support, and policy protections for the LGBTQ+ community.  A 2011 study analyzed data from over 75 research reports and found that lesbian and bisexual women may be up to 3 times as likely as heterosexual women to report having been sexually assaulted during their lifetime; gay men may be up to 15 times as likely as heterosexual men to report having been sexually assaulted during their lifetime.

A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found nearly half of respondents were sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime and one in 10 were sexually assaulted in the past year. Overall, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined all LGBTQ+ populations are at greater risk of experiencing sexual violence.

The high prevalence of sexual violence against the LGBTQ+ community is exacerbated by the inaccessibility of resources, support, and protective laws.  LGBTQ+ survivors are less likely to seek help from police, hospitals, rape crisis centers, and other support organizations.  One of the barriers contributing to this is the fear of being "outed."  Another barrier is the fear of being discriminated against further.  In 2016 the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that less than 30% of LGBTQ+ survivors interacted with law enforcement following an incident of sexual violence. Seven percent said the police were hostile and 12 percent said that the police were indifferent in their interactions.  Furthermore, there are barriers for LGBTQ+ survivors who need access to rape crisis centers, sexual violence programs, and shelters - many of which actively ban LGBTQ+ individuals or do not have the necessary accommodations to care for them. 

As an organization dedicated to preventing sexual violence, we recognize that all violence, including sexual violence, is rooted in oppression.  In order to prevent sexual violence in the LGBTQ+ community, we must work to end inequality, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and all forms of systemic prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are some LGBTQ+ resources listed below:

  • LGBT National Hotline: Call center that refers to individuals in need to more than 15,000 resources across the country that support LGBTQ individuals. They also provide pen pals and weekly chatrooms for LGBTQ+ youth.​

  • The Trevor Project: A national organization dedicated to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under the age of 25 as well as other community organizing resources.

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