Sexual Assault Awareness Month: What it means for the LGBT community

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month, we work to remember the often under-publicized effects of sexual assault and intimate partner violence on the LGBT community.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “gay men, LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities of color, LGBTQ and HIV-affected youth and young adults, bisexual survivors, and transgender communities [are the] most impacted by intimate partner violence.” Sexual assault effects the LGBT community so profoundly, and yet it is rarely addressed within the community due to stigma, victim blaming, and fear of discrimination.

Approximately one in eight lesbians (13.1 percent) and nearly half of bisexual women (46.1 percent) have been raped in their lifetime. Nearly half of bisexual men (47.4 percent) and four in ten gay men (40.2 percent) have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.

Transgender survivors are 1.9 times more likely to face physical violence and 3.9 times more likely to face discrimination due to intimate partner violence.

NCAVP’s data reinforces the findings of the National Intimate Partner Violence Survey, a study conducted on intimate partner violence (IPV) in lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities by the Center for Disease Control. This report reveals that 61% of bisexual women and 37% of bisexual men experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking in their lifetimes.

This month, we endeavor to speak about these issues. Talking openly about sexual assault brings the community one step closer to inclusivity and healing. Tomorrow is the International Day Against Victim Blaming. Look out for our post to find out how you can participate in de-stigmatizing the experiences of survivors of sexual assault.