Marissa Kern — September 30, 2019

LGBTQ+ and Sexual Assault

Marissa Kern

Research reflects that there is a higher incidence rate among the LGBTQ+ community. Even so, we are often forgotten.

On September 28th Raleigh hosted its first ever pride event. Myself and several members of the wave team had the opportunity to attend. Throughout the night and following couple of days it made me think about what we are doing at Our Wave and how the LGBTQ+ community is affected by it. This prompted me to do some research on the topic.

The Problem

While conducting this research I was shocked by the prevalence of sexual assault within this community. Something else I noticed was the difficulty I had with finding statistics for sexual assault within the LGBTQ+ community. It is fairly easy to find statistics for women and men as a whole, but difficult to narrow in on this community. For me it gave off the feeling as though the LGBTQ+ community is sometimes left out of the sexual assault conversation which for me, and the entire team at Wave, unacceptable.

Statistics

To help shed some light on the prevalence of Sexual Assault within the LGBTQ+ community I wanted to share some statistics I found on the Human Rights Campaign website:

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found for LGB people:

44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women

26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men

46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians

22 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women

40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men

Within the LGBTQ community, transgender people and bisexual women face the most alarming rates of sexual violence. Among both of these populations, sexual violence begins early, often during childhood.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.

https://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-assault-and-the-lgbt-community

What’s Next?

Research reflects that there is a higher incidence rate among the LGBTQ+ community. Even so, we are often forgotten. A community that constantly faces reprimand and hate is also left out of the sexual assault conversation a lot of the time. We seek to help them to be seen, heard, and believed.

Through storytelling and story tags on the Our Wave website the LGBTQ+ community can have a voice. They can find community. We aim to allow ALL survivors to have a voice regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Let’s use this platform to not only support the LGBTQ+ community, but the advocate for them, and to shed light on the prevalence of assault within their community.

Help change the conversation.

Our Wave depends on your generous contributions for our continued success. Donate today and support us as we work to support survivors of sexual assault.

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