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LGBTQ community at greater risk of sexual assault

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Bisexual men, like their female counterparts, face the highest rate of rape and sexual assault among men of
various sexual orientations, at 37 percent according to the 2010 NISVS.
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Publication: The Rebel Yell, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV.
By Brett Murray
Sexual assault is an incredibly prevalent and often ignored fact of life as an LGBTQ individual.
It's often reported that one in three women will be raped in their lifetime. Statistics about sexual assault in the
LGBTQ community are less widely discussed, however.
"Same sex assault is something that our society doesn't care about enough to try to prevent," said Shantilly
Tuazon, a member of the Nevada Teen Health &Safety Coalition.
LGBTQ people are statistically more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than straight people.
Bisexual women, in particular, are affected by sexual assault at a higher rate. The 2010 National Intimate
Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported that 61 percent of bisexual women have experienced sexual
"The sexuality of bisexual women is fetishized. They are seen as 'slutty.' And we live in a rape culture that
teaches 'slutty' women are asking for it," Tuazon said.
Most bisexual rape victims were first raped at a young age - between the ages of 11 and 24, the 2010 NISVS
The study also reports that 44 percent of lesbian women have been sexually assaulted. These rapes are
particularly noteworthy, as rapes of lesbian women are often committed by heterosexual men who feel entitled
to women despite their sexual orientation, according to Caitlyn Caruso, another member of the NTHSC.
"We see a lot of straight people thinking that LGBTQ people can be 'fixed'. That leads to higher rates of sexual
assault, because some straight men think forcing themselves upon queer women will 'straighten' them out,"
Caruso said.
Sexual assault against LGBTQ men is prominent as well. Bisexual men, like their female counterparts, face the
highest rate of rape and sexual assault among men of various sexual orientations, at 37 percent according to
the 2010 NISVS.
"There's also this idea that men can only assault women. Our society teaches that men should enjoy any type of
sexual encounter, consensual or not," Tuazon said. "Where does that leave same sex couples?"
Transgender people face the highest rates of rape and sexual assault among members of the queer community.
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey reports that transgender individuals face almost four times the
rate of sexual assault than the general population - over half of respondents reported that they had been
sexually assaulted.
Transgender people of color face even higher rates of sexual assault.
This is particularly prevalent in the school system. Transgender students not only face discrimination, bullying
and physical assault, but also very high rates of sexual assault. One-sixth of trans students surveyed by the
NTDS reported that they had been sexually assaulted.
There are also disparities within the transgender community. Trans women - who are designated male at birth experience rape at almost twice the rate that trans men - those designated female at birth - do.

"Trans women are seen as this confused oddity. There is superiority in cisgendered people, and we see a lot of
confusion from them. There is this 'everything rotates around men' mentality, and when trans women 'deny their
manhood' that infuriates [cisgender] men," Caruso said.
Trans people also experience more rape at the hands of family members, police officers, and coworkers than
cisgender people - even non-straight cisgender people.
"We need more LGBTQ+ centered and inclusive campaigns in order to prevent sexual assault," Caruso said.
"We see a lot of grassroots movements, but not very many mainstream campaigns."
There are resources around the Valley, such as the Rape Crisis Center, that exist for the sole purpose of
assisting rape victims. However, there aren't many LGBTQ-specific rape campaigns, and LGBTQ students at
UNLV intend to change that.
"Many don't even know that these assaults are happening. UNLV can definitely do more. And I look forward to
perhaps creating a campaign in my coming years as a Rebel," Tuazon said.
Subject: Sex crimes; Rape; Gays & lesbians; Transgender persons; Bisexuality; Assaults;
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Publication title: University Wire
Publication year: 2014
Publication date: Oct 20, 2014
Year: 2014
Section: News
Publisher: Uloop, Inc.
Place of publication: Carlsbad
Country of publication: United States
Publication subject: General Interest Periodicals--United States
Source type: Newspapers
Language of publication: English
Document type: News
ProQuest document ID: 1614115907
Document URL:
Copyright: 2014 UWIRE, a division of Uloop
Last updated: 2014-10-20
Database: ProQuest Central,Social Science Premium Collection

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