Below are some information that explores sexual assaults in LGBT communities.
What is same-sex sexual assault?
• Same-sex sexual assault may include (but is not limited to) forced vaginal or anal penetration, forced oral sex, forced touching, or any additional form of forced sexual activity.
• Same-sex sexual assault may occur on a date, between friends, partners or strangers.
What issues around rape are unique to the LGBT community?
• Survivors who are not "out" may find sharing and/or reporting the rape especially difficult or even impossible.
• The uncertainty of knowing the level of sensitivity of resources may make reaching out for support very difficult.
• Lack of awareness of same-sex rape both within and without the LGBT community may make silence seem the only option.
• If the LGBT community is small, the fear of other's disbelief and/or people "taking sides" may cause the survivor to keep silent.
• Guilt and self-blame may take the form of questioning ones sexual identity and sexuality. These, rather than the rape may become the central issues.
• Internalized homophobia may compound the complexities of strong emotions after rape.
• Gay/bi male survivors may face the fear of not being believed and/or being ridiculed because of the stereotype of men never rejecting a sexual opportunity.
• Lesbian/bi women survivors may face the fear of not being believed if they are raped by a female because of the myth that "women don't do that sort of thing."
• Fear, humiliation, self-blame, depression, denial, powerlessness, anger and suicidal feelings are common after rape.
• The need to be believed and reassured that what happened was in no way their fault.
• The need to be given the dignity of making their own decisions about any course of action.
• By believing your friend or partner who has been raped.
• By respecting the need for confidentiality.
• By avoiding judgmental comments.
• By controlling your own feelings of anger and/or frustration.
• By asking how you can be helpful rather than giving unsolicited advice.
• By respecting her or his decisions even when yours might be different.
• By being a good listener.
• By being honest with yourself if you have trouble handling the aftermath of the rape.
• By finding other sources of support if this is the case.
• By offering unconditional love and support.
• By avoiding pressure to resume any form of sexual activity until initiated by your partner.
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Resources for the LGBT Community
• California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
• Community United Against Violence
• National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
• Northwest Network
• The Network/La Red
• Survivor Project
• Out Front
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