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The LGBTQ community and sexual assault

It can be difficult for anyone who has been sexually assaulted to reach out for help, but members of the LGBTQ community, or someone who does not identify as LGBTQ but experiences a same-sex sexual assault, can face some unique obstacles when seeking assistance after a sexual assault, including:

  • Having to “out” themselves or their assailant
  • Being asked to explain the assault in more detail than would be necessary for an opposite-sex assault
  • Having the assault downplayed or viewed as not a “real” assault
  • Being blamed for the assault or perceived as “deserving” it
  • Fear about being mistakenly perceived as the assailant
  • Worries about perpetuating stereotypes of the LGBTQ community, such as the idea that all LGBTQ people are hypersexual or that violence in same-sex relationships is rampant and mutually perpetrated and accepted, and being perceived as betraying the LGBTQ community for reporting
  • The possibility of creating a rift in a local LGBTQ community if people “take sides” with either the assaulted or the accused assailant
  • Concerns about homophobia from legal and medical personnel
  • Apprehension about subjecting the assailant to a potentially anti-LGBTQ legal system
  • Questions about one’s sexual identity

The issues listed above are very real concerns that you might be facing, but it is still imperative to get legal, medical and emotional support if you have been sexually assaulted. There are many resources on Purdue’s campus and in the local community to help with your recovery.