The Violence Prevention and Action Center (VPAC) serves Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ+) survivors of sexual or relationship violence. LGBTQ+ survivors have the same reactions and fears as would any survivor. However, LGBTQ+ sexual or relationship violence survivors may face additional concerns. These concerns are normal.
Fear of Prejudice: Someone who is assaulted by someone of their same sex may fear reporting the crime because of prejudice. They may fear that an officer, hotline worker, doctor, or attorney will judge them because of their sexuality. They might feel like people believe they brought the attack on themselves by being LGBTQ+.
Assumption of Heterosexuality: People assisting a survivor of assault may assume that the person is heterosexual. A survivor may feel uncomfortable correcting that assumption, or disclosing that they are homosexual.
Fear of Being “Outed:” LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual or relationship violence may not have revealed to their friends, family, or community that they are homosexual. They may worry if they come forward to report that this information will be revealed.
This Can’t Happen To Me: Sexual and relationship violence are most often portrayed as crimes committed by men against women. However, these crimes can be perpetrated by men against men and by women against women. The same options are available to survivors of same-sex assaults.
Betrayal of LGBTQ+ Community: LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual or relationship violence may hesitate to report the crime because they feel like they are betraying their community. They might worry that a stigma of violence will be attached to the LGBTQ+ community.
- A woman can’t rape another woman or a woman can’t rape a man.
- Gay men are sexually promiscuous and are always ready for sex.
- When a woman claims domestic abuse by another women, it is just a catfight. Similarly, when a man claims domestic abuse by another man, it is just two men fighting.
As with all cases, these myths can only be dispelled when they are replaced by truth. This requires that members of the LGBTQ+ community and heterosexual allies speak out and acknowledge sexual assault and domestic violence within the LGBTQ+ community, in order to both prevent future assaults and to provide competent and compassionate care to survivors. The Violence Prevention and Action Center is available to provide support, information, and additional resources to any survivor.
For additional information click here to view Bravo website: a link to survivor advocacy and assistance regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault.