Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community are not immune to sexual assault or sexual violence . In fact, victims who identify as LGBTQ are more likely to experience sexual violence as well as hate-motivated crimes. They may also encounter challenges to post-sexual assault assistance because of biases against the LGBTQ community.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC stands by LGBTQ sexual assault victims. We can help you go up against a perpetrator, your employer, a property owner, and/or other liable parties in pursuit of justice and compensation for sexual violence. Learn about your rights as a victim during a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault attorneys.
How Common is LGBTQ Community Sexual Assault?
Research is lagging on sexual violence perpetrated against LGBTQ individuals. Little remains known about the prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the LGBTQ community. That being said, a 2010 study found that LGBTQ people experience a significantly higher prevalence of sexual assault and rape compared to heterosexual people. Research suggests that around 50 percent of bisexual women and transgender people will suffer sexual violence during their lifetimes.
Researchers believe that the actual prevalence of LGBTQ community sexual assault may exceed what reports show. Many victims may not want to disclose their sexual orientation or identity during sexual assault reporting for fear of bias getting in the way of justice.A study by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that victims are less likely to report hate crimes based on sexual orientation to the authorities, due to perceived anti-LGBTQ bias in the criminal justice system. Lack of reporting has led to inferior awareness concerning this important issue.
Why Does LGBTQ Sexual Assault Happen?
The exact legal definition of sexual assault can vary state to state, but it is generally regarded as an act of sexual penetration or contact through the use of force or threat of force, or while knowing the victim is incapacitated or unable to give consent. Examples include rape, sodomy, encouraging a child to perform sexual acts, exposing one’s genitals, incest, sexual abuse, and drug-facilitated sexual assault.
LGBTQ community sexual assault occurs for many reasons. The desire for dominance and control on the part of the assailant may be motivators just as they are in non-LGBTQ sexual assault cases. However, an added factor or motivator of sexual violence within this community might be the perpetrator’s homophobia or transphobia, or an attempt to persecute people in this community. If you feel frightened, threatened, or uncomfortable in your work environment because of your LGBTQ status, you might be the victim of workplace sexual harassment.
What to do if You are a Victim of LGBTQ Community Sexual Assault
First, report the incident to the police. Even if the police do not help, this will create a record of the event that you can use later. Then go to a hospital for a physical exam. Explain that you are the victim of sexual assault and you need doctors to collect evidence such as bodily fluids or photographs of injuries. As soon as you are able, contact an attorney who will be by your side during the entire sexual assault claim process.
No matter when, where, or how you experienced sexual assault, you have legal rights as a victim. Don’t let your fear of encountering bias in the justice system prevent you from standing up for yourself. Find a strong advocate in an experienced sexual assault attorney who can help you go up against your victimizer and others who failed to prevent or address your victimization such as an employer, school, hospital, or law enforcement.
Contacting an experienced sexual assault attorney can help you cope with many emotions and challenges you may be experiencing as the victim of LGBTQ sexual assault. Your lawyer will listen to your story, help you feel less alone, and support your rights moving forward. An attorney can file civil claims against the assailant as well as file claims for workplace sexual harassment/discrimination or negligent security. He or she will help you seek all available relief for your individual case.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can Help
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we advocate for the LGBTQ community. Our lawyers can help you stand up to sexual assault perpetrators, employers, biased law enforcement officers, and others who contributed to your injuries. You may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Review your rights with an experienced and compassionate sexual assault attorney today.