Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgendered survivors of sexual assault have many of the same reactions and fears as would any survivor. LGBT individuals receive the same services as other survivors of sexual assault.
Same-Sex Sexual Assault Statistics
(From the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault fact sheet Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered (LGBT) Populations and Sexual Assault )
- In a study of 162 gay men and 111 lesbians, 52% reported at least one incident of sexual coercion by same sex partners. Gay men experienced 1.6 incidents per person; while lesbians experienced 1.2 incidents per person.
- Studies over the past two decades on lesbian sexual violence show a range from a low of 5% to a high of 57% of respondents claiming they had experienced attempted or completed sexual assault or rape by another woman, with most studies finding rates of over 30%.
- Men living with male intimate partners experience more intimate partner violence than do men living with female intimate partners. 15% of men who lived with a man as a couple reported being raped/assaulted or stalked by a male cohabitant.
Sexual Violence Against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) Individuals
- In a sample of 412 university students, 16.9% of the subjects reported that they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual; the remainder identified themselves as heterosexual. Of the lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual subjects 42.4% (30.6% female and 11.8% male) and 21.4% of the heterosexuals (17.8% female and 3.6% male) indicated they had been forced to have sex against their will.
A 1991 study of university students reported that of their sample of gay/bi-sexual students (including both gay men and lesbians) approximately 18% had been victims of rape, approximately 12% had been victims of attempted rape, and approximately 37% had been victims of sexual coercion.
- There were 2,552 reported anti-gay incidents in 1998, of these 88 were sexual assaults/rapes.
Additional Concerns of LGBT Survivors
Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgendered survivors of sexual assault have many of the same reactions and fears as would any survivor. However, LGBT sexual assault survivors may face additional concerns. These concerns are normal.
RCASA’s hotline staff are available to talk about all options available to a victim of sexual assault and can help address your specific concerns.
RCASA supports all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, race, class status, ethnicity, religious identity, age, those with disabilities, or the duration of the relationship: dating, intimate, briefly acquainted, married, or strangers.
Fear of Prejudice
Someone who is sexually assaulted by someone of their same sex may fear reporting the crime because of prejudice. They may fear that an officer, hotline worker, doctor, or attorney will judge them because of their sexuality. They might feel like people believe they brought the attack on themselves by being LGBT.
Assumption of Heterosexuality
People assisting a survivor of sexual assault may assume that the person is heterosexual. A survivor may feel uncomfortable correcting that assumption, or disclosing that they are homosexual.
Fear of Being “Outed”
A LGBT survivor of sexual assault may not have revealed to their friends, family, or community that they are homosexual. They may worry if they come forward to report that this information will be revealed.
This Can’t Happen To Me
Sexual assault is most often portrayed as a crime committed by men against women. However, sexual assault can be perpetrated by men against men and by women against women. LGBT survivors have the same options available to them as all other sexual assault survivors.
Betrayal of LGBT Community
A LGBT victim of sexual assault may hesitate to report the crime because they may worry about betraying their community. They might worry that a stigma of sexual violence will be attached to the LGBT community.
For more information or help call RCASA 540.371.6771.