No one deserves to be sexually assaulted or abused. There is help for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning/gender queer, intersex, and asexual survivors of sexual assault, abuse or intimate partner violence.
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.
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.
THE FIRST STEP TO HEALING
If you are a survivor within the LGBTQIA community, 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.
INTIMATE-PARTNER VIOLENCE WITHIN THE LGBTQIA COMMUNITY
Intimate-partner violence can happen in any relationship, including relationships within the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual) community. There are many different types of abuse including physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and technological abuse.
Sometimes abusers within the LGBTQIA community will tell their partners that “this is how it is in a LGBTQIA relationship” to minimize the survivor’s feelings and experiences. Abusers within the LGBTQIA community may also threaten to “out” the survivors if they leave or tell anyone about the abuse.
No one ever deserves to be abused. It is important to remember that intimate partner violence is not okay in any relationship and it is not normal in any relationship.
ARE ALL ABUSERS MEN?
It is important to remember that ANYONE can be a perpetrator of intimate-partner violence. It can be hard to seek help when the abuser is not a man. You may feel like the abuse is not “as bad” as the abuse in other intimate partner violence relationships, because your partner does not fit. You may also feel like you will not be believed.
But no matter the gender of your partner, intimate partner violence is a serious crime.
SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE WITHIN THE LGBTQIA COMMUNITY
As with people who are heterosexual and/or cisgender, those within the LGBTQIA community are also at risk for acquaintance or “date” rape. Sexual assaults in which the attacker is a romantic partner or known acquaintance do occur within the LGBTQIA community. These attacks are motivated by power and control, rather than sexual attraction.
No matter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, no one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted. It is not your fault.
CAN SEXUAL ASSAULT BE A HATE CRIME?
When someone in the LGBTQIA community is victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, this is a hate crime. Perpetrators of hate crimes commonly use sexual violence as a way to punish and humiliate someone for being LGBTQIA.
It may be very difficult to come to terms with the fact that your attacker wanted to hurt and humiliate you because of who you are. Please know that no one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted or abused. There is nothing wrong with you.
ARE ALL ATTACKERS MEN?
ANYONE can be a perpetrator of sexual assault/abuse or intimate partner violence. It can be very hard to seek help when your attacker or abuser is not a man. You may feel like others will not believe you. But no matter the gender of your attacker, sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence are serious crimes. The gender of your attacker or partner does not change that.