SARVA

Queer Survivors/Victims

Queer is an umbrella term inclusive of all sex and gender minorities, including individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, and those who identify outside of these labels.

Queer survivors/victims of sexual assault and relationship violence experience unique problems. They may feel less inclined to report what has happened to them, as they fear that they will be met with discrimination when talking with police, medical staff, or counselors. Queer people who are assaulted by someone else in the queer community may feel additional pressure to remain silent about what happened to them, as it might be hard for them to recognize that they could be abused by another queer person and they might face stigma by others in the community for coming forward. It may also be harder for an queer survivor/victim who was assaulted by their partner to get out of the relationship, as they may not have friends and family who are accepting of their identity and willing to help them.

Hate crimes against queer people can take the form of rape or assault. For example, lesbians are at a higher risk of sexual assault because of heterosexist attitudes in our culture, and it is estimated that 10% of hate crimes committed against lesbians involve sexual assault. Survivors/victims of hate crime rape may feel it as an attack on their identity and question their sexuality or gender as a result.

*please note: None of these experiences are universal. Every person has their own story and may or may not experience the traits described above. However, it is important to recognize that queer survivors/victims face disproportionate amounts of oppressions when compared to cisgender and/or heterosexual survivors/victims.