Sexual assault and relationship violence can be issues in any relationship, and can impact any individual regardless of gender or sexual identity. Rape/sexual assault is also a tool of control and domination by women over other women, and men over other men. GLBT victims of sexual assault confront the same issues as any survivor, but must also deal with unique issues and special needs.
Know that most university faculty and staff must report incidents of sexual assault and relationship violence to the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics and Access for investigation. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services and Student Counseling Services staff are not required to report. The university is required to follow up on all incidents of sexual assault and may investigate to support its efforts to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students. The survivor determines his/her level of participation in this process.
Includes forced vaginal or anal penetration, forced oral sex, or other forced sexual activity.
As with opposite sex assaults, the assault may occur within the context of an otherwise consensual relationship.
It may include a penis, fist, finger, dildo or other external object.
Victims are even less likely than opposite-sex survivors to report the assault.
There is often a tendency to blame their victimization on their sexual orientation.
Reporting is deterred by concerns about being “outed”, perceptions of police and care-givers as homophobic, being seen as betraying the gay community, and lack of “queer-friendly” services
Victims experience the same emotional reactions, and are in need of the same support and intervention services, as opposite sex survivors.
Woman to Woman Assault
Survivors often experience a sense of betrayal and disbelief that a woman could assault another woman
Woman-to-woman assaults are often trivialized or viewed as harmless “cat fights” with no real victim and no injury. This is an inaccurate misperception.
Woman-to-woman assaults are rarely perpetrated by strangers, or by heterosexual women.
Although there is typically no concern for pregnancy, there is the possibility of internal injuries and sexually transmitted infections.
Male to Male Assault
The most common male-to-male assault is the rape of a man who is perceived to be gay by a heterosexual man.
An assault of a heterosexual man may lead him to question his sexual orientation.
Male-to-male assaults also occur between gay men.
It is not uncommon for male victims to react with overt anger
Male victims may be afraid to seek services as they perceive sexual assault services to be “for women only”.
Barriers to Services
Reporting process which “outs” the survivor.
Stereotypes that violence in a GLBT relationship is “mutual”; a similar assumption is not made in heterosexual relationships.
GLBT community may not be supportive of victims as they may want to maintain the myth that there are no problems of relationship violence within GLBT relationships.
Lack of competent “queer-friendly” helpers who are sensitive to the issues; homophobic service providers
Help is available and recovery is possible. Talking with someone aids your recovery. Free and confidential services are available from Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services ((309) 438-7948 or (309) 438-3655). Accessing services from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services program, or Student Counseling Services will not result in a report being filed. These resources have a tradition of providing informed, affirming and supportive services to the GLBTQ community.