Sexual violence affects every group of people including those who identify as LGBTQ. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated that lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience sexual violence at the same or higher rates than heterosexuals. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) estimates that about one in ten LGBTQ members have experienced sexual assault from a partner. The sexual assault stats for transgender and bisexual people aren't better. Studies have concluded that around half of transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes.
The LGBTQ community faces high rates of poverty, stigmatization, and marginalization, all three components put members of the LGBTQ community at greater risk for being sexually assaulted. Hate based sexual assaults are also common like Brandon Teena a transsexual man who was brutally raped and murdered in Nebraska in 1993. His life was turned into a movie titled Boys Don't Cry, Brandon Teena was Hillary Swank.
Internalized homophobia and shame is also a factor for sexual assault in the LGBTQ community. When members don't feel comfortable enough to come out the closet or haven't accepted they're gay or trans sexual, often times they lash out on the person closets to them which would be their partner.
The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found for LGBTQ people:
Forty-four percent of lesbians and sixty-one percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to thirty-five percent of heterosexual women.
Twenty-six percent of gay men and thirty-seven percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to twenty-nine percent of heterosexual men.
Forty-six percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to seventeen percent of heterosexual women and thirteen percent of lesbians
Twenty-two percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to nine percent of heterosexual women.
Forty percent of gay men and forty-seven percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to twenty-one percent of heterosexual men.
Sexual violence for the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender people and bisexual women start in childhood. They face the highest rates of sexual violence.
Among transgender racial minorities, twenty-four percent of transgender American Indians, eighteen percent of transgender people who identified as multiracial, seventeen percent of transgender Asians, and fifteen percent of Black transgender respondents experienced sexual assault in K-12 education settings – much higher rates than students of other races. Transgender women respondents experienced sexual assault more often than their transgender male peers.
Nearly half (forty-eight percent) of bisexual women who are rape survivors experienced their first rape between ages eleven and seventeen.
Even though LGBTQ members have a high percentage of becoming victims of sexual assault, they hardly report their assaults do to the fear of judgement by police, hospitals, shelters or rape crisis centers because of their lifestyle. Eighty-five percent of victim advocates surveyed by the NCAVP reported having worked with an LGBTQ survivor who was denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that among those transgender respondents who had interacted with police six percent had been physically assaulted and two percent had been sexually assaulted by police. Among black transgender people, fifteen percent reported physical assault and seven percent reported sexual assault by police. Outrageously, twenty two percent of those transgender people who had attempted to access shelters reported being sexually assaulted by either another person in the shelter or by shelter staff.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, here are some LGBTQ-friendly resources listed below:
Let's Talk About It: A Transgender Survivor's Guide to Accessing Therapy
National Sexual Assault Hotline – can also refer you to a local rape crisis center
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24/7 or
Online Counseling at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
Love is Respect Hotline
1-866-331-99474 (24/7) or Text “loveis” 22522
The Anti-Violence Project– serves people who are LGBTQ
Hotline 212-714-1124 Bilingual 24/7
GLBT National Help Center
Hotline 1800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743) or
Online Chat at http://www.volunteerlogin.org/chat/
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline
FORGE– serves transgender and gender nonconforming survivors of domestic and sexual violence; provides referrals to local counselors
The Network La Red– serves LGBTQ, poly, and kink/BDSM survivors of abuse; bilingual
Hotline - 617-742-4911
Northwest Network– serves LGBT survivors of abuse; can provide local referrals
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