Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sexual Assault in LGBT Population

Sexual Assault occurs among individuals of all sexual orientation.

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."

What issues are common to all rape survivors?
• 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.

How can I be helpful as a friend or partner?
• 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.

*“There are many levels to internalized and externalized homophobia,” and in order to comprehend same-sex sexual assault, it is significant to construct an obligation to accept and confront homophobia.

*It is also imperative to distinguish that individuals within the LGBT community are beleaguered for sexual assault due to professed gender expression.

*Sexual violence is used as a form of social control to maintain heterosexism.

The two (2) videos below portrays some example of how LGBT communities are treated in Iraq and South Africa.

Gays in Iraq terrorized by threats, rape, murder

South African black men rape South African black lesbians

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


Become involved! VISIT CUNYSGC.COM!

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