We’ve made it to the twenty-three blog of the year. June is Gay Pride Month as well as Caribbean Heritage Month. For the month of June we’ll be focusing on both of these topics. The third blog to continue pride month will focus on what the Q mean in LGBTQ+ and the obstacles queer people face after sexual violence. The LGBTQ+ acronym encompasses all the members and the definitions for each sector within the larger sector of LGBTQ+. In the last ten years we’ve been able to identify and understand the L= lesbian, G= gays, B= bisexual, T= transgender but not too many people understand the Q and why it’s apart of the LGBT community. So what does the Q stand for and what’s the definition? Q= queer, queer basically means differencing from the norm. And the normal is heterosexuals.
So a person can be a homosexual man and identify as queer because being homosexual is the complete opposite of heterosexuality. But other people in the LGBT+ community may use queer because they don’t perfectly fit into the other letters in the acronym but they identify as something other than heterosexuality. On the other hand there are people in the LGBT+ community who hold on to the letters in the acronym and refuse to identify with the Q. Regardless to whatever letter in the acronym a person chooses to hold on to or the various placement in the sexual spectrum a person chooses to identify with, the LGBTQ+ person gets to choose and out themselves. It isn’t up to anyone, even other members in the LGBTQ+ community to expose anyone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ+ people experience sexual violence at an equal rate or higher rate in comparison to heterosexuals. When it comes to rape, physical violence, stalking by an intimate partner, lesbians have a 44% rate of experiencing the aforementioned, bisexual women however have a 61% rate whereas heterosexual women experience these types of violence at a 35% rate. This means more than half of bisexual women will experience sexual violence during some point in their lifetime. When it comes to rape, physical violence, stalking by an intimate partner, gay men have a 26% rate of experiencing the aforementioned and bisexual men have a 37% rate whereas heterosexual men experience these types of violence at a 29% rate.
It gets even worse for bisexual women when it comes to stalking because they’re twice as likely to be stalked compared to heterosexual women. These devastating stats aren’t solely to provide a comparison of sexual violence when it comes to sexual preference. It’s to serve as a wake up call for action because sexual crimes across the sexual spectrum is severely underreported crimes. In fact, rape is one of the most underreported crimes and pressing charges doesn’t always result in a conviction. Most rape cases don’t result in a conviction.
Here are some stats beow from RAINN (rape and incest national network) to give further insight.
Perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals.
The Majority of Sexual Assaults Are Not Reported to the Police
Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 2 out of 3 go unreported.
· Individuals of college-age2
. Female Students: 20% report
. Female Non-Students: 32% report
· The elderly: 28% report3
· Members of the military: 43% of female victims and 10% of male victims reported.
Reasons Victims Choose Not to Report
Of the sexual violence crimes reported to police from 2005-2010, the survivor reporting gave the following reasons for doing so:
· 28% to protect the household or victim from further crimes by the offender
· 25% to stop the incident or prevent recurrence or escalation
· 21% to improve police surveillance or they believed they had a duty to do so
· 17% to catch/punish/prevent offender from reoffending
· 6% gave a different answer, or declined to cite one reason
· 3% did so to get help or recover loss
Of the sexual violence crimes not reported to police from 2005-2010, the victim gave the following reasons for not reporting:
· 20% feared retaliation
· 13% believed the police would not do anything to help
· 13% believed it was a personal matter
· 8% reported to a different official
· 8% believed it was not important enough to report
· 7% did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
· 2% believed the police could not do anything to help
· 30% gave another reason, or did not cite one reason
Reporting sexual violence to the police can be terrifying and a mental obstacle. When a person does have the courage to report they my face a lot of criticism. The NCAVP (The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs) found that 66% of members of the LGBTQ+ had stated that police treated them with indifference or hostility when reporting sexual assault that the police. In comparison to Black LGBTQ members that experienced sexual assault, they were almost three times more likely to experience excessive force from police.
LGBTQ+ members who experience sexual assault also have hurdles accessing and receiving aid from service providers in crisis centers, support groups, shelters, organizations and other institutions. This may be due to the establishment not being LGBTQ+ friendly or LGBTQ+ members don’t see the services making LGBTQ+ people feel that their unique plight is valid. This is the case from a 2015 NCAVP report that found almost half of LGBTQ+ members who reached out to emergency shelters due to experiencing intimate partner violence had been shut out of receiving care. From the study, 71% of LGBTQ+ members reported denial of services due to how they identified with.
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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