Tackling sexual violence in the LGBT community

Sexual violence can affect anyone regardless of their gender identity or what type of relationship they're in. We look at sexual violence in the LGBT community and find out where you can get support.

woman stand against a brick wall looking upset.

Sexual violence is a problem in every community.

Discussing your likes and dislikes with a partner is a HUGE part of a healthy sex life. Often, when discussing sexual consent, the sex lives and relationships of the LGBT community are overlooked. Many can feel left out of the conversation and find it hard to apply it to their daily lives.

My partner is the same gender as me so I don’t have to worry

Consent affects everybody regardless of their gender or the type of relationship they’re in. There is often a belief that rape must involve penetration leading people to believe that rape can’t occur between two women in a relationship. The truth is that rape or sexual assault can involve forced sexual touching, oral sex, or penetration with a finger or another object.

Similarly with men in same-sex relationships, there is an assumption that rape doesn’t exist. This is fed by the myth that men are always ‘up for it’. This can make it difficult for men to say no to sex. It’s helpful to remember, whatever gender you and your partner are, you both deserve to have your boundaries respected.

My partner is too wasted, what do I do?

Drink and drugs often make an appearance during sexy times even though they can massively affect our ability to make good decisions. If your partner’s ability to consent to sex is hindered by drink or drugs, they legally can’t give consent.

If you do take anything it’s important to know what you’re taking and the effects it will have on you. Be aware of you and your partner’s behaviour. If they start to zone out or go limp, stop and tell them you think they may be too drunk.

If you regularly take drugs during sex and want more support, 56 Dean Street offer walk-in one to one chats focused on the LGBT community. You can discuss issues such as taking prEp, hook up apps, having a chem-free week and using drugs such as crystal meth or GHB.

I’m trans and worried about sexual assault

Sadly the number of reported hate crimes against transgender people in the UK has increased. Many trans people do not feel safe and worry about being taken seriously by the police.

It can be distressing to feel this way but it is important to remember:

  • Everyone has the right to report a crime.
  • You deserve to be treated with respect by the police when reporting a crime.
  • You have control over your body and what happens to it. Know what your boundaries are and what kind of relationship you want.
  • If you want to speak to someone you can call Childline on 0800 1111 if you’re under 19 or Galop, an anti-LGBT violence charity, on 0800 999 5428.

How can I stay safe on dating apps?

Dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder have become a normal part of many people’s lives and can be an easy way to meet new people. If you’re meeting up with someone for the first time:

  • Try and speak to them on the phone or ask for more images so you have more information about them.
  • Tell a friend where you’ll be going and when you’ll be meeting them.
  • If you’re meeting up with someone new to have sex, suggest meeting in public first before going home with them. If you don’t like them, it will be easier for you to leave.
  • Look up how to get home easily before you get there.

Read our article on Online Dating Safely for more tips on staying safe online.

I’m too scared to report a crime

Remember that if someone does commit a crime it is not your fault. You are never to blame if someone decides to take advantage of you no matter what safety precautions you took.

Some people worry about reporting a crime because they don’t want to bring negative attention to the LGBT community. The pressure to always help your friends and community can be difficult but this shouldn’t get in the way of you and what you need at this time.

Where can I get support?

Our article Was it Rape has information on what to do if you think you’ve been raped and how to report a crime. If you have been a victim of sexual violence and are looking for support you can contact:

  • Galop: This anti-LGBT violence charity has a dedicated national helpline for domestic abuse victims and a London-based helpline for LGBT victims of violence.
  • Rape Crisis: Offer advice and support to women and girls who are victims of rape and sexual assault. There are also many local rape crisis services across the UK.
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres: Provide services to victims of rape and sexual assault regardless of whether you choose to report the crime to the police or not.
  • SurvivorsUK: offers advice and support to cis and trans male victims of rape and sexual assault. Text on 020 3322 1860.
  • 56 Dean Street: a sexual health and HIV/GUM clinic in London.
  • CliniQ: London-based sexual health and wellbeing service for trans people, their partners and their family.
  • Brook: offers sexual health and wellbeing advice to under 25s.
  • Childline: advice and support for under 19s. Call their free helpline on 0800 1111.

Next Steps

  • Galop is an anti-LGBT violence charity. Call the dedicated national helpline for LGBT domestic abuse victims on 0800 999 5428. You can also call the London-based helpline for LGBT victims of violence on 0207 704 2040.
  • Rape Crisis offers support and advice to victims of rape and sexual assault, no matter how long ago the attack was. 0808 802 99 99
  • SurvivorsUK offers advice and support to male victims of rape and sexual assault. Text on 020 3322 1860.
  • Do you want to understand your relationship better? Love Smart helps you work it all out.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

Tags:

consent| lgbt| rape

By

Updated on 19-Apr-2017

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.