Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, & Intersex (LGBTQQI) Survivors
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Sexual assault and intimate partner violence effects all persons, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. If you are in or have been in an unhealthy relationship or experienced sexual violence, you may have concerns specifically related to your gender identity, expression or sexual orientation in addition to those concerns felt commonly by all survivors of sexual violence. You may be concerned about the circumstances of the abuse. You may also be concerned about how your gender identity and/or sexual orientation will affect your medical care or legal recourse, or your relationship with a partner, friends, or family. Many survivors of intimate partner or sexual violence within the LGBTQQI community fear telling someone, utilizing services, or reporting the incident(s).
Common fears associated with telling someone, seeking help, and reporting may include:
- Having to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Being outed, having your sexual orientation revealed, without your consent when seeking services
- Seeking services from professionals (law enforcement, healthcare providers, advocates, etc.) who may be insensitive or homophobic
- Being perceived as the perpetrator
- Being perceived as weak, vulnerable or unable to fight back
- Not having the assault/abuse labeled as intimate partner or sexual violence
- Not being taken seriously or having the assault/abuse be minimized
- Having the assault/abuse sensationalized
- Being blamed for the assault/abuse
- Not being understood or being blamed if the assault occurred in a bondage & discipline, dominance & submission, or sadism & masochism (BDSM) environment
- Having to explain how the assault happened in more detail than other survivors may be asked to do
- Being ostracized from the LGBT community for reporting the perpetrator if s/he is also a member of the LGBT community
- Outing, disclosing the sexual orientation of, the perpetrator(s)
You are NOT required to disclose your sexual orientation to anyone (even at the emergency room), unless you choose to do so. Remember, the assault/abuse is NOT your fault. You have the right to medical, legal, and support services that do not discriminate. Please consider talking with a SAAP Coordinator or SAPA about navigating the resources on campus or in the community. SAAP Coordinators and SAPAs are familiar with concerns that LGBTQQI survivors may experience and trained to support all survivors. WISE is a non-profit community organization, NOT affiliated with Dartmouth College, that also offers advocacy services for all survivors as well and provides a 24hr Crisis Hotline. Additional resources are listed on the panel to your right and a variety of online resources specific to LGBTQQI concerns are listed below.
Online Resource Specific to LGBTQQI concerns:
For more more information and additional resources on being LGBTQQI at Dartmouth click HERE!
Information & Statistics
Sexual Violence has been described as the most under reported crime in the US with very few victims ever disclosing the assault or abuse, let alone seeking services or reporting the crime. It is extremely difficult for any victim/survivor to come forward and/or seek services after being victimized, and studies suggest that it is even more challenging for survivors in marginalized communities. Some of the concerns and fears associate with coming forward are described above.
- 52% of participants in a study of sexual coercion in gay/lesbian relationships reported at least one incident of sexual assault/coercion
~Waldner-Haugrud, Lisa K. and Linda Vaden Gratch. (1997). Sexual Coercion in Gay/Lesbian Relationships Descriptives and Gender Differences, Violence and Victims, 12(1), 87-98.
- Approximately 10% of hate crimes against gay men and lesbians include sexual assault
~Comstock. Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men. 1991.
- 74% of transgender youth reported being sexually harassed at school, and 90% of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression
~GLSEN, 2001, The 2001 national school climate survey: the school related experiences of our nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
- In a survey of 403 transgender people, 78% reported having been verbally harassed and 48% reported having been victims of assault, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault or rape
~Wilchins, R., Lombardi, E., Priesing, D. and Malouf, D. (1997) First national survey of transgender violence. Gender Public Advocacy Coalition.
- 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 bisexual 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.
~Duncan, David F., 1990. "Prevalence of Sexual Assault Victimization Among Heterosexual and Gay/Lesbian University Students." Psychological Reports 66: 65-66.
- A 1991 study of university students reported that of their sample of gay/bisexual 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.
~Baier, John L., Rosenzweig, Marianne G., and Whipple, Edward G. 1991. "Patterns of Sexual Behavior, Coercion, and Victimization of University Students." Journal of College Student Development 32: 310-322.
- There were 2,552 reported anti-gay incidents in 1998, of which 88 were sexual assault/rapes.
~New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. 1999. Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Violence in 1998. New York, NY: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
- The increase in rapes and sexual assaults rose 13% nationally in 1995-1996 against lesbians and gays, approximately twice the 6% rate for all violent crimes.
~Anti Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Violence Report. New York City Gay & Lesbian AntiViolence Project, 1996.
- According to the First National Survey of Transgender Violence, 13.7% of 402 persons reported being a victim of rape or attempted rape.
~"GenderPAC, Gender, Affectional, and Racial Equality," April, 1997. First Annual Survey of Transgender Violence.