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Healthy Relationships and LGBTQ Visibility During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Triangle Community Center is using this time to make visible LGBTQ experiences with sexual violence and barriers to access to resources for reporting and support unique to LGBTQ individuals.

To participate in the conversation for the rest of this month, you can share pictures on social media that are in line with the theme of the day. Use hashtags #ctlgbt and #30DaysofSAAM to show support for all survivors and show a particular attention to LGBTQ experiences with sexual violence.

Friday, April 28 is #RelationshipGoals, and we are encouraging people to share selfies of themselves with their partners to make visible healthy and happy relationships. This theme is particularly important to LGBTQ people because it is still rare to see healthy LGBTQ relationships depicted in the media.

For some facts about sexual violence among LGBTQ people, please click Read More.

  • 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women
  • 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29% of heterosexual men
  • 46% of bisexual women have been raped (17% of heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians). Nearly half of bisexual women who are rape survivors experienced their first rape between ages 11 – 17
  • 85% of victim advocated surveyed by NCAVP reported having worked with an LGBTQ survivor who was denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 15% of black transgender people reported physical assault and 7% reported sexual assault by police
  • 22% of transgender people reported sexual abuse by another person or staff in a shelter

Barriers to Assistance

  • Legal definitions of domestic violence that excludes same-sex couples
  • Dangers of “outing” oneself when seeking help and the risk of rejection and isolation from family, friends, and society
  • The lack of, or survivors not knowing about, LGBT-specific or LGBT-friendly assistance resources
  • Potential homophobia from staff of service providers or from non-LGBT survivors of IPV and IPSA with whom they interact
  • Low levels of confidence in the sensitivity and effectiveness of law enforcement officials and courts for LGBT people

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