SEXUAL VIOLENCE RISK FACTORS
ANYONE CAN BE RAPED. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, or anything other than cisgender/heterosexual, are at heightened risk of sexual violence – both in the workplace and at home.
LGBTQ+ individuals experience sexual violence in a number of ways ranging from gender bullying in schools and the workplace, hate crimes, street harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Because LGBTQ+ individuals do not always have the same rights and resources as cisgender/heterosexual individuals, LGBTQ+ victims of sexual assault also have less access to laws and institutions that protect them if they choose to report.
Reporting may mean having to come out as LGBTQ+, an option that is not always possible or safe for a victim; coming out can, unfortunately, lead to more harassment and abuse from law enforcement, medical professionals, and even family members and friends. Because of this fear of judgment and additional violence, LGBTQ+ individuals are less likely to report. No matter who the victim or perpetrator is, or when and where the rape takes place, rape should always be taken seriously – this begins with believing the victim.
Rape Among LGBTQ+ Populations
21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males.
Gay men may be up to 15 times as likely as heterosexual men to report having been sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately 1 in 8 lesbians (13.1%), nearly half of bisexual women (46.1%), and 1 in 6 heterosexual women (17.4%) have been raped in their lifetime.
44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women.
46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians.
26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men
LGBTQ+ individuals may experience abuse during their childhood. They may be abused by parents or others who are intolerant of homosexuality. They may be targeted for sexual abuse by adults that recognize and ostracize them as “different.”
Statistics provided by The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey