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LGBTIQ+ Community and sexual assault

 

DVConnect helps everyone and this includes the LGBTIQ+ community. If you identify as LGBTIQ+ and you have experienced sexual assault/sexual violence, or you are concerned that you might have but are unsure, we can help you. You are not alone. Sexual violence/sexual assault is never your fault. It is a crime! DVConnect uses the LGBTIQ+ acronym to refer to people who are from sexually or gender diverse communities and who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer, questioning or asexual.

 

It can happen to anyone

Sexual violence can happen to anyone. It can happen if you are in a relationship, for example by your partner, and if you are single. It can happen in lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, monogamous, open, polyamorous, dating, long-term, living together or not living together relationships, as well as long distance. It can also happen between friends, acquaintances, workmates or people you do not know. It can happen to people who identify as:

  • Transgender
  • Gender-diverse
  • Intersex
  • Queer
  • Sistergirl
  • Brotherboy
  • Cisgender

 

Sexual assault in the LGBTIQ+ community

Sexual Assault is an unwanted or forced sexual act or behaviour without your informed consent.  Whether you are within the LGBTIQ+ community or not, sexual violence is being forced, pressured or tricked into doing sexual things when you don’t want to do.No one has the right to make you do sexual things that you don’t want to do, even if you are married to them or in a relationship with them. Sexual violence can be a form of domestic and family violence.  More

You can experience sexual violence from strangers, but research shows that it occurs more often within relationships with friends, family members, work colleagues. This may cause you to second guess your self with regards to consent. We urge you to watch the video on the ‘concent’ video below.

Sadly if you have been sexually assaulted/sexually abused within the LGBTIQ+ community, your attacker may try to scare you to keep quiet by using the below:

  • The threat of being ‘outed’ if you have not disclosed your sexuality, gender, intersex status to family, friends, workplace or cultural community
  • Telling, or threatening to tell, others about HIV status (or other illness) without permission
  • Threatening to self-harm or commit suicide
  • Operating video surveillance cameras and audio recording devices in your home to monitor your activities
  • Monitoring your movements.
  • The fear of a lack of confidentiality within, or of being isolated from LGBTIQ+ communities

OR, you may feel

  • Fear of discrimination or minimisation by Police, legal systems and service providers
  • Fear of non-offending parents that their right to stay with their children may be challenged due to different legal rights of LGBTIQ+ parents
  • Fear of nowhere to go for support that is safe and culturally appropriate
  • Shame and confusion around society’s assumptions of the LGBTIQ+ community
  • Threatening to hurt or actually hurting pets if you disclose what they did to you
  • Threatening to harm your family members or children, or treating children in a disrespectful or abusive manner if you disclose what happened to you.

 

Consent

Just because you didn’t say no, doesn’t mean you consented. You can agree to something initially and then change your mind. Sexual violence can include anything sexual that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable, and unable to say no. It also includes so much more.  Watch this short video that compares consent for sex, with tea. It is worth your time we promise.

Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios

 

Who commits sexual assault?

Sexual Assault and abuse is perpetrated by people in all kinds of settings and against all age groups and genders. Sexual violence can include anything sexual that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. Sexual violence can involve strangers or people you know, including:

  • Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives
  • Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives
  • Carers or paid support workers
  • Parents, guardians or other family members
  • Casual sex partners
  • Friends
  • Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home
  • Someone you know but aren’t close to, like a neighbour, boss, or friend of a friend.

It is never OK for any of these people to force you to do something that you are not comfortable with. Every person has the right to say what happens to their body. For more information about Sexual Assault or to chat with someone, please visit 1800RESPECT

 

Impacts of sexual assault

There are many impacts of a sexual assault or experiencing sexual abuse. You may not even recognise them as affects initially. They include, but are not limited to sleeplessness, headaches, feeling numb, angry, unclean, alone, feeling judged, memory loss, nausea, overwhelmed, unable to trust, feeling unsafe and more.

 

LGBTIQ+ Handbook

Another Closet have created a LGBTIQ+ Handbook on Domestic and family violence that may be helpful to you. LGBTIQ+ Handbook

 

Do you want to chat?

If you have experience sexual violence/sexual assault, or if you are unsure whether what you experienced was sexual assault/sexual violence, please call Sexual Assault helpline:  1800 010 120

 

Other LGBTIQ+ Support Services who can help

 

1800 RESPECT:  If you want to chat about your situation, 1800RESPECT (1800 727 732) is available 24/7. They understand that domestic violence within the LGBTIQ+ community has unique differences.

Another Closet:  Another Closet provides information for people in LGBTIQ+ relationships who are, or may be, experiencing domestic and family violence.

Diverse Voices:  Formerly the Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association Queensland, Diverse Voices is a non-profit organisation with a focus on the wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ communities through the operation of the Gay Line and Lesbian Line, a peer telephone counselling service. You can also access their counselling service QLife. QLife provides a place to talk about mental health, relationships, isolation, coming out, and a host of other concerns. Call 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight, 7 days) or online chat (3pm to midnight, 7 days).

Expanded Horizons Program:  The Expanded Horizons Program is delivered by Wesley Mission Queensland and provides support to young LGBTIQAP+ Queenslanders in the Gold Coast Region through the delivery of 2 programs: QSpace for 12 to 17 year olds, and QPlus for 18 to 25 year olds. Call 1300 865 302 or complete the contact form.

LGBTI Legal Service: The LGBTI Legal Service provides legal advice and information to clients who have legal problems arising from their identification as LGBTIQ and/or because they feel more comfortable dealing with a solicitor with specific skills, interest and understanding of LGBTIQ legal issues and the barriers experienced by these communities in accessing the legal system. They may assist you with legal issues associated with: family law, domestic violence, surrogacy and parenting rights, criminal law, discrimination, victims support, civil matters, legal issues in relation to government decisions and Centrelink employment.

National LGBTI Health Alliance: The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia that provides health-related programs, services and research focused on LGBTIQ communities.

Open Doors Youth Service: Open Doors Youth Service provides support services to LGBTIQAP+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy young people aged 12 to 24 and their families who live in South East Queensland.  An initial ‘intake’ appointment is required to access the service. Please call Open Doors Youth Service to book this in with one of their Workers.

PFLAG (for parents): Parent and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Brisbane (PFLAG) is a support group for parents of LGBTIQ people in Queensland. They also strive to support LGBTIQ people who are, or fear, they may be abandoned by their families. Contact PFLAG on phone 0400 767 832 or email.

Queensland AIDS Council: The Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) is an independent, community-based health promotion charity which helps all LGBTI people to achieve the best possible health and wellbeing.

Queensland Police: The Queensland Police Service LGBTIQ Liaison Program provides support and assistance to LGBTI community members when dealing with police matters. If you wish to speak to an LGBTI Liaison Officer, please advise the officer taking your complaint or contact PoliceLink on 131 444, who will identify a liaison officer in your area. Find out more. Call 131 444

Say it out loud: Say it out loud encourages people from LGBTIQ communities to start talking about their relationships, including what is wonderful and unique about them, how they can improve them, and what behaviours won’t be accepted by individuals and as a community. 

Headspace: headspace is run by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing mental health services for young people aged 12 to 25. Call 1800 650 890 or online chat or email

Kids Helpline: Kids Helpline is a free and confidential counselling service for young people 5 to 25. You can talk to a counsellor via phone 1800 551 800 (24 hours), online chat or by email.

 

Sexual assault is never ok! It is never your fault! It is always a crime!

 

Call the Sexual Assault Helpline

 Call 1800 010 120

Counsellors are available from 7:30am until 11:30pm, 7 days.

I wish to sincerely thank you and the entire DVConnect team for their past and present assistance during these past few years of family turmoil. Without such a wonderful service it would be that much harder for women and children.

Jenny, Northgate Brisbane

We need your support.

With your donation we can:

  • Provide more emergency transport and accommodation to those escaping violence.
  • Provide more temporary accommodation for pets whose families have escaped violence.
  • Provide more crisis counselling to those who have experienced violence.
  • Educate Queenslanders on how they can help family/friends experiencing violence.