The LGBT survivor can expect the same range of emotional responses to assault as any heterosexual survivor. However, because of homophobia, discrimination, bigotry, and bias, there are issues that may negatively impact treatment, impeding the healing process, or in some cases, making the situation worse. Special concerns for the LGBT survivor include:
- Insensitivity among social service/health care providers or law enforcement
- Disbelief that the assault or abuse really occurred
- Belief that same sex violence is "mutually combative"
- Guilt or shame because of internalized oppression
- Lack of support from friends or family
- Fear of public disclosure.
Resources for the LGBT survivor are limited. However, no one should be forced to deal with sexual or relationship violence alone. Sexual orientation and/or gender identity should not be perceived as a barrier to or further isolate the LGBT survivor. Contact our office for resources and accompaniment.