People who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) can have additional concerns and impacts that are not faced by others. They can often experience greater isolation from family and friends than heterosexual people and therefore may not expect support even if they did disclose what has happened to them.
If a survivor is not ‘out’ they may be afraid to come forward if it risks them being ‘outed’. It is common for all survivors to feel confused, embarrassed, and ashamed of the sexual assault. The additional burden of an existing sense of internalised shame about one’s sexuality due to discrimination in society can make asking for help very challenging.
Members of the LGBTQI community who are sexually assaulted as part of a hate crime – motivated in part or wholly by an attack on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – may experience an increased sense of shame andfeeling that their sexually has somehow been tainted. They may also feel the pain they are now enduring is a result of their sexuality. Remember the perpetrators of hate crimes are ignorant, malicious individuals who are afraid of anything which they see as different. The failing is within them.
Nobody Ever Deserves To Be Sexually Assaulted – You Are Not Responsible and Your Sexuality or Gender Identity Is Not To Blame
Whilst it may not be understood within the broader society, domestic violence and sexual assault can also happen within same-sex relationships. Many individuals who identify as LGBTQI feel their community is a safe haven from hate crimes and discrimination , and so may have difficulty facing sexual assault or violence from some one in their own community.
At the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre we are client-centred and aim to have a service free from discrimination and we we offer an LGBTQI culturally safe environment. We are also aware of the challenges that discrimination in the broader community can place on people who are sexuality and/or gender diverse and we are able to help you by advocating for your rights in other services or with the police and hospitals if you need it.
It is important to remember that you deserve support and that you do not have to face the challenges alone. Here at CRCC we can support you on the crisis line and through face to face counselling and advocacy.
In all emergencies phone the police on 000.
Phone the Rape Crisis Centre any time on (02) 6247 2525.