Sexual Assault Within LGBT Communities: A Press Release from the NCAVP, via the Anti-Violence Project

April 8, 2013

NCAVP Endorses National Sexual Assault Awareness Month; Calls for End to LGBTQH Sexual Assault

This April, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) stands in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual assault in commemorating the 13th annual National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During this month, NCAVP raises awareness about this form of violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities and calls for an end to sexual assault.

Sexual assault is an act of violence in which someone conducts sexual activity without another person’s consent. Perpetrators of sexual assault exert power and control over survivors through coercion, manipulation, shame, pressure, violating boundaries, and other tactics. Sexual assault can overlap with other forms of violence and can be committed by strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members, and intimate partners. In NCAVP’s 2011 report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV Communities, NCAVP members reported that 5.1% of LGBTQH survivors of intimate partner violence experienced sexual abuse from a partner in 2011, and that transgender people were almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence from a partner. Hate-motivated sexual violence may occur when a non-LGBTQH person rapes an LGBTQH person to “cure” their sexual orientation or gender identity. NCAVP members reported that 3% of hate violence reports were sexual violence in the report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2011. This report also found that youth and young adults were 2.56 times as likely to experience hate motivated sexual violence.

Discrimination against LGBTQH people contributes to LGBTQH sexual violence survivors feeling pressure to not out other LGBTQH people as having committed sexual violence. LGBTQH survivors of sexual assault may experience increased barriers to reporting sexual violence such as fear due to threats from an abusive partner to out the survivor’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV-status. Additionally, LGBTQH survivors may experience disbelief, indifferent, biased attitudes from law enforcement and service providers, and a lack of culturally appropriate and sensitive resources.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, NCAVP commits to continue to support LGBTQH survivors of sexual assault by advocating for political strategies to address and end this violence, documenting its impact, and assisting NCAVP member programs to support LGBTQH sexual violence survivors. NCAVP calls on community members, anti-violence

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organizations, and public officials to take action in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to end sexual assault in our communities.

CALL TO ACTION

Get Involved: Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQH violence. To learn more about our national advocacy, receive technical assistance and support, or locate an anti- violence program in your area, contact us.

Report Violence: NCAVP encourages anyone who has experienced violence to contact a local anti-violence program for support and to document this violence. NCAVP also encourages all LGBTQH and anti-violence organizations to contribute data to NCAVP’s annual national reports.

Increase Data Collection: The federal government, state and local governments, schools, universities, police departments, and community organizations should collect and analyze data on LGBTQH sexual assault to more accurately identify its prevalence and support strategies to address and end this violence.

Eliminate Barriers: Federal, state, and local governments should create laws and policies to reduce barriers to accessing services for LGBTQH survivors of violence including comprehensive LGBTQH competency training for law enforcement and service providers and comprehensive nondiscrimination policies.

Support Research: NCAVP calls on private and public funders to increase funding to expand research on LGBTQH sexual assault, available services, and violence prevention initiatives.

Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month: To receive information on sexual assault, educational materials, and ideas about how to get involved during the month, visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/sexual-assault-awareness-month-home.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

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