CDC Study: LGBT Community Reports High Prevalence of Sexual, Interpersonal Violence
January 25, 2013 by Ty Cobb, Senior Legislative Counsel
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a groundbreaking and valuable study on lesbian, gay and bisexual sexual and intimate partner violence. This gold-standard study underscores the need for including the LGBT community in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and all other anti-violence efforts. All too often, programs and services related to sexual and intimate partner violence are not welcoming or prepared to assist LGBT people. This study is a powerful call for greater LGBT inclusion in anti-violence efforts.
The study found that lesbians and gay men report levels of violence victimization equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals. Disturbingly, bisexual women had significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape and sexual violence, when compared to both lesbian and heterosexual women. Bisexual women also experience higher lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Overall, the study troublingly shows that violence affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation.
HRC is committed to using the results of this pioneering survey to advocate for Congress to pass an LGBT-inclusive VAWA reauthorization, which would provide for increased funding for LGBT-focused violence prevention initiatives and truly welcoming and inclusive services for LGBT violence survivors.
We are very grateful to the CDC for undertaking this groundbreaking and valuable survey. Like the CDC, we look forward to future research, as soon as feasible, on violent victimization of transgender people, which, by all indications, is disproportionately high. We also look forward to additional research on the CDC findings related to the increased victimization of bisexual women.
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