Support for Gay and Bisexual Men
IT'S NOT ABOUT SEX!
Sex requires your consent. Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes and are motivated by anger, hatred, and aggression. Being forced to have unprotected sex or to engage in more sexual activity than you had wanted also constitutes rape or sexual assault. Both men and women can commit rape and sexual assault against both men and women.
Same-sex sexual assault is not motivated by sexual attraction. It is predominantly an act of violence. Commonly, victims are chosen for their perceived vulnerability to attack rather than how sexually appealing the perpetrator found them. If someone is a victim of same-sex sexual assault it does not necessarily mean the perpetrator is part of the LGBTQ community or that the victim is part of the LGBTQ community.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Rape and sexual assault can happen to any man, no matter what kind of person he is, what he looks like, or what his sexual orientation is. Sexual assaults are violent crimes used to exert power, to humiliate, and to control.
YOU HAVE SURVIVED!
Rape and sexual assault can be life-threatening situations. Whether or not a weapon was used, you probably were very scared. You may have cooperated in order to get out alive. This does not mean you consented. Sometimes you have to cooperate to save your life. Rape and sexual assault are never your fault!
IF THE ATTACKER IS A MAN
Homophobia puts LGBTQ people at a greater risk for violence. Sexual violence is commonly used by perpetrators as a way to punish and humiliate someone for being LGBTQ. Sexual assault is often one of the forms of violence that occur during an anti-LGBTQ battering. This may be the case if a person who is not part of the LGBTQ community sexually assaults a person who identifies as LGBTQ.
As within heterosexual relationships, people who are part of the LGBTQ community are at risk of acquaintance or date rape. Sexual assaults that occur in the context of dating relationship or where the attacker is known by the victim in some way do occur. These attacks are also motivated by power and control rather than sexual attraction.
According to a study released by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, in terms of hate motivated violence, 82% of the perpetrators are male. Females have less of a risk of victimizations than males. The study reports that 28% of the victims were female and that 58% of the victims were male. In the same study, 79% of victims identified as lesbian/gay and 11% identified as heterosexual, while 3% of victims identified as bisexual. (Please see the study Anti-lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Violence in 2004, a report of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs for more information. www.cuav.org).
IF THE ATTACKER IS A WOMAN
Women can commit acts of sexual violence. Rape and sexual assault can happen with a woman you just met or with someone you feel close to. It is not talked about much, but it happens. It can be very hard to seek help when a woman is the attacker. You may feel surprised and shocked that a woman could do these things. You may second guess your feelings because of the mistaken belief that women cannot sexually assault men. You may feel like you shouldn't get help because you feel like you would not be believed.
Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes. Neither your sexual orientation nor the gender nor biological sex of your attacker changes that. There is help available for you in a kind, caring and sensitive manor.
Rape and sexual assault are traumatic experiences. Following an attack, you may have physical pain, injuries, and strong emotional reactions. Below are some of the reactions you may experience.
Partners, family, and close friends who are aware of what happened to you may also experience some of these changes.
Barriers to seeking services:
There are many reasons a survivor of sexual assault or abuse may not seek services or leave an abusive situation. Sexual assault is often underreported and may be more so within the LGBT community. Some barriers to service include:
What is homophobia?
What is heterosexism?
How do I help as a friend or as a partner?
The SARP Center services:
The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center supports all survivors of sexual assault with an effort to be sensitive to issues of gender and sexual orientation.
Support and Resources for LGBTQ Community:
San Luis Obispo County Resources:
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