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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning Survivors Dating Violence - Abusive Relationships - Rape and Sexual Assault Male Survivors

This section deals with the specific concerns members of the LGBTQ community may have regarding sexual assault and dating violence. The NCCC Wellness Center, and the YWCA of Lockport 24/7 Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence hotline, provides services to all students, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Dating Violence in LGBTQ Communities
Are there differences in the type of dating violence experienced in LGBTQ relationships?
What to do if you are being abused
What can someone do if they are abusive?
How to help a friend
Additional Resources for LGBTQ Dating Violence (website, articles, books)
Rape and Sexual Assault in LGBTQ Communities
Common Myths about LGBTQ sexual assault and rape
What to do if you have been sexually assaulted or raped
Additional Resources for LGBTQ Sexual Assault Survivors (website, articles, books)

Dating Violence in LGBTQ Communities

Research estimates that 25% to 33% of LGBTQ relationships are abusive (the same percentage as in straight relationships). Abusive LGBTQ relationships have the same dynamics of power and control as straight relationships, but frequently go undetected and unreported. Because of this, abuse in LGBTQ relationships can seem like a hidden problem. Attitudes like "women don't hurt each other" or "a fight between two men is a fair fight" can keep people from recognizing abuse. Some abusers threaten to "out" the victim to parents, friends or employers. A survivor may be afraid to get help, worried that the police and counseling services will be homophobic and insensitive. This page provides LGBTQ resources and links for survivors and information on how to help a friend.

The NCCC Wellness Center, and the YWCA of Lockport 24/7 Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence hotline provide advocacy services to all survivors, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Are there differences in the type of dating violence experienced in LGBTQ relationships?

Dating violence is always the responsibility of the abuser, regardless of the gender or gender identity of the abuser or the type of relationship. But abusers may use a person's identity as a way to abuse or control a person who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. For example, an abuser may use threats of outing a partner's sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status to further control the person they are hurting.

What should I do if I'm being abused?

It's important to know that violence/abuse is not likely to stop on its own - episodes of violence usually become more frequent and more severe. The NCCC Wellness Center and the YWCA of Lockport hotline can assist you:

The NCCC Wellness Center and the YWCA of Lockport work to prevent sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking and provide advocacy services to students who are survivors of interpersonal violence. The programs provide survivors (and individuals assisting survivors) with emotional support, someone to talk to, and referrals for medical and legal options; in a setting that is non-judgmental. The programs do not tell survivors what to do; instead they offer options that are available to you. Services are free and confidential. The Wellness Center and the YWCA serve all survivors of interpersonal violence, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We highly encourage survivors to contact either program; coping with an abusive or violent relationship can be a very difficult and confusing process.

Contact the NCCC Wellness Center at 716-614-6280. For more information on the YWCA of Lockport Serves please call 716-433-6716 or visit our website at http://www.ywcaniagara.org

What can someone do if they are being abusive?

  • Stop using abuse of any form (physical, sexual, verbal or emotional), including threats and intimidation.
  • Accept responsibility for your behavior. Remember that the use of violence is a choice and you can choose to change that behavior.
  • Do not make excuses for your violence or blame your partner for your abusive behavior.
  • Seek professional help from a qualified counselor who is knowledgeable about partner abuse and has experience working with the LGBTQ community.
  • Alcohol, drug use or mental health problems may make abusive situations worse but they are not excuses for abusive behavior.

How can I help a friend who's in an abusive relationship?

Many people in abusive relationships will turn to a trusted friend first. Here are some ways you can offer support:

  • Your friend's first step to safety could be you letting them know that they are not alone and that they are not crazy. Let your friend know that many people experience abuse and that there are resources where they can get help.
  • Be supportive and respectful. Make clear statements about your friend's value and rights as a person, such as "No one deserves to be abused."
  • Don't criticize the abuser. A survivor often has conflicting feelings about the abusive partner. If you're critical the survivor may become defensive or shut down. Instead, talk about negative behaviors by saying something like, "I'm really concerned about how your partner treats you. Nobody has the right to put someone else down."
  • Encourage your friend to make a safety plan if they have decided to leave the relationship. Your part in a safety plan can include walking home together, checking in at certain times of the day, and having a code word your friend can use if they need immediate help.
  • Do not confront the abuser. This can result in an escalation of violence against the survivor.
  • Do not slip a referral card or any other information about abuse into someone's bag or under a door. If the abuser finds this, it can also escalate the violence against the survivor.
  • Do not send a voicemail message or an email message about the abuse to your friend. You do not know if the abuser is monitoring the phone or the computer.
  • Be careful for yourself. Let your friend know what you are comfortable doing and what your boundaries are. You can also get support for yourself from the resources on and off-campus that are listed below.

Additional Resources for LBGTQ Dating Violence (articles, websites, books):

LGBTQ Domestic Violence Fact Sheet: http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/domestic_violence.pdf

Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships: http://www.pandys.org/articles/lesbiandomesticviolence.html

The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project: This grassroots, nonprofit organization provides community education and direct services for clients. GMDVP offers shelter, guidance and resources to allow gay, bisexual and transgender men in crisis to leave violent situations and relationships.

NYS State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) TTY: 1-800-787-3224. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides anonymous crisis intervention, information about domestic violence and referrals to local services. The hotline advocates can answer calls in English and Spanish and have access to translators in 139 languages.

Rape and Sexual Assault in the LGBTQ Community

Sexual assault and rape can happen to anyone, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This section contains information specifically for LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault and rape. Assault may have been same-sex or perpetrated as a hate crime, directed against the survivor's sexual orientation or gender identity as perceived by the perpetrator.

Sexual assault is any unwanted or forced sexual contact. It can be committed by the use of threats or force or when someone takes advantage of circumstances that render a person incapable of giving consent, such as intoxication. Sexual assault can include unwanted touching, fondling, or groping of the body including the vagina, penis, scrotum, breasts, or buttocks. Rape is any kind of sexual assault that involves forced vaginal, oral, or anal sex, including any amount of penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth with a body part or any other object.

Common Myths about LGBTQ sexual assault and rape:

Myth: A woman can't rape another woman.

Reality: While the majority of perpetrators of sexual assault are male, the idea that woman-on-woman sexual assault does not occur is only a product of gender role stereotypes that encourage the idea that women are never violent. This stereotype can make it less likely that women who were sexually assaulted by another woman will be believed by those around her. It can also make a survivor who has believed that women are nonviolent feel disillusioned that she has experienced violence from a woman.

Myth: Gay men are sexually promiscuous and are always ready for sex.

Reality: Men who identify as gay, like all people, have the right to say no to sex at any time and have that respected. Because of the stereotypes that many people have about gay men's sexual availability, however, it may be more difficult for a gay man to convince others that he was assaulted.

Myth: Bisexuals are kinky anyway, and sexual assault for them is just rough sex that got out of hand.

Reality: Bisexuality reflects a sexual orientation, not sexual practices. Bisexuals, like heterosexuals, practice a wide range of sexual behaviors, and, for bisexuals, like for heterosexuals, rough sex and a sexual assault are two very different things. Because of stereotypes about bisexuals, they, too, may have difficulty being believed about a sexual assault.

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted or raped:

You can find information on what do if you have been sexually assaulted by clicking here.

If you are male survivor additional information can be found here.

Additional Resources for LBGTQ Survivors of Sexual Assault (articles, websites, books):

Pandora's Project
Support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Offers peer support to anyone who has been a victim of rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse through online support group, Pandora's Aquarium. Specific online support for LGBTQ survivors. Pandora Project LGBTQ survivors: http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html

RAINN
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network – Sexual Assault as a hate crime: http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/hate-crimes

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