Students belonging to the LGBT community report higher rates of sexual victimization while enrolled in college and member of this population are less likely to report an incident.
Approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women and nearly half of bisexual women experience rape in their lifetime, and statistics likely increase when a broader definition of sexual assault is used. Nearly half of bisexual men and 4 in 10 gay men have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime, and though statistics regarding rape vary, it is likely that the rate is higher or comparable to heterosexual men.
As with most hate-based violence, transgender individuals are the most likely to be affected in the LGBT community. A staggering 64 percent of transgender people have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime (National Center for Lesbian Rights, April 2014).
It can be difficult for anyone who has been sexually assaulted to reach out for help, but members of the LGBT community, or someone who does not identify as LGBT but experiences a same-sex sexual assault, can face some unique obstacles when seeking assistance after a sexual assault, including:
- Having to "out" themselves or their assailant
- Being asked to explain the assault in more detail than would be necessary for an opposite-sex assault
- Having the assault downplayed or viewed as not a "real" assault
- Being blamed for the assault or perceived as "deserving" it
- Fear about being mistakenly perceived as the assailant
- Worries about perpetuating stereotypes of the LGBT community, such as the idea that all LGBT people are hypersexual or that violence in same-sex relationships is rampant and mutually perpetrated and accepted, and being perceived as betraying the LGBT community for reporting
- The possibility of creating a rift in a local LGBT community if people "take sides" with either the victim/survivor or the accused assailant
- Concerns about homophobia from legal and medical personnel
- Apprehension about subjecting the assailant to a potentially anti-LGBT legal system
- Questions about one's sexual identity
The issues listed above are very real concerns that you might be facing, but it is still imperative to get legal, medical and emotional support if you have been sexually assaulted. There are many resources on the K-State campus and in the local community to help with your recovery. For information from the LGBT Resource Center at K-State, please call 785-532-5352.
*Web content on this page was borrowed with permission from Purdue University.