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LGBTQIA+ Survivors

No one deserves to be sexually assaulted or abused. There is help for LGBTQIA+ survivors of sexual assault, abuse or intimate partner violence.

Resources:

RISE (805) 226-5400 or (885) 886-RISE (7473) Hotline

National Gay and Lesbian Hotline (888) 843-4564

Trans Lifeline (877) 565-8860

Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) / Tranz-Central Coast (805) 541-4252

IS IT MY FAULT?

Whether you are a survivor of sexual assault or intimate partner violence, it’s not your fault. No one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted or abused. Neither your sexual orientation or gender identity, nor the sexual orientation or gender identity of the perpetrator changes that fact.

WHO PERPETRATES HARM?

ANYONE can be a perpetrator of sexual assault/abuse or intimate partner violence. No matter who an attacker is, sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence are serious crimes. Sexual assault/abuse or intimate partner violence can be perpetrated by someone you know, a significant other, a family member, or a stranger.

SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT AND IPV WITHIN THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

While sexual assault/abuse and intimate-partner violence can happen in any relationship, the LGBTQIA+ community faces equal or higher rates of these issues. No one ever deserves to be abused and it is important to remember that sexual assault/abuse and intimate-partner violence is never your fault.

The LGBTQIA+ community faces higher rates of poverty, stigma, and marginalization, which puts the community as a whole at greater risk for sexual assault. Moreover, the ways in which society both hypersexualizes LGBTQIA+ people and stigmatizes relationships can lead to abuse and violence that stems from homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia.

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

  • 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.
  • 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.
  • 46% of bisexual women have been raped; 22% of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner.
  • 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape.
  • The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.
  • Among people of color, American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) respondents of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey were most likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime

Sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence are never okay. These instances of violence and abuse are motivated by power and control. Sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence are serious crimes.

COMMON FEELINGS

Many members of the LGBTQIA+ community choose not to seek help after experiencing sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence because they feel that service organization cannot provide them with the services they need. RISE is an inclusive environment with services catered to the LGBTQIA+ community and RISE wants individuals to feel safe and comfortable seeking help and services after a traumatic event.

Sexual assault, sexual abuse, and intimate-partner violence are traumatic experiences. Following an attack, you may have physical pain, injuries, and strong emotional reactions.

You may experience many different feelings, such as self-blame, shame, anger, fear, guilt, or grief. You may find you’re unable to concentrate or focus because you “can’t stop” thinking about what happened. You may also experience flashbacks that make you feel nervous, angry or afraid.

All these feelings are perfectly normal reactions. RISE also offers individual and group counseling and a 24-hour toll-free hotline 855-886-RISE (7473) for survivors who are interested.

THE FIRST STEP TO HEALING

If you are a survivor, you may be nervous about seeking health care, but sometimes it is the first step. Please know you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. If you are interested in getting health care, we have a resource page for local health care providers. Whether you choose to report or disclose your experience or not, it is very important that you get checked by a healthcare provider for any sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

SEXUAL ASSAULT AS A HATE CRIME

When someone in the LGBTQIA+ community is victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, this is a hate crime. These hate crimes can terrorize members of the LGBTQIA+ community by making them afraid to live in certain places and be free to move about in their community and across the country. Perpetrators commit hate crimes to send a message and express anger or hatred for the victim. These hate crimes are illegal.

Contact the Victim Connect Resource Center by phone at 1-855-484-2846 or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services that can help if you are a victim of hate crime.

No one deserves to be abused or assaulted, no matter what. Please know you are not at fault in any way.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND RESOURCES

RISE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones. All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English. All staff members are mandated reporters and have an obligation to report under the following circumstances: reports of abuse or neglect to minors, dependent adults, elders, as well as if a client is in danger of hurting themself or others.