Support for Transgender People
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.
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.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of physical appearance, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. 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
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. Transgender females are at a higher risk of victimization then transgender males people. In the same study, 3% of victims identified as bisexual while 79% identified as lesbian/gay and 11% identified as heterosexual. (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).
Homophobia and transphobia put 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.
Just as within heterosexual dating, 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 relationships 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.
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. It can be hard to tell someone about it and break the silence. You may feel surprised and shocked that a woman could do these things. This can also make you feel like you shouldn't get help because you are second guessing yourself or because of the mistaken belief that women cannot sexually assault men or that women cannot commit acts of sexual assault against each other.
Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes. Neither your sexual orientation nor the gender nor biological sex of your attacker changes that.
SOME COMMON REACTIONS:
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 transgender community. Some barriers to service include:
How do I help as a friend or as a partner?
What is homophobia?
What is heterosexism?
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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