Serving LGBTQIAP+ students
The impact of sexual violence including stalking, domestic violence, and relationship abuse affects all people no matter their identity. However, LGBTQIAP+ people have several special considerations when coping with relationship abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. In fact, it is estimated that between 25 and 33 percent of LGBTQIAP+ relationships include abuse, a rate equal to that of heterosexual and cisgender relationships. There is a misconception that if violence occurs in an LGBTQIAP+ relationship it is always mutual fighting and that it does not reflect the same power and control issues as seen in heterosexual relationships.
SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to serving LGBTQIAP+ people by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies.
Many incidents of intimate partner violence include some form of sexual assault. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, “bisexual women experienced significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape and other sexual violence by an intimate partner when compared to heterosexual women” and “significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner when compared to lesbian and heterosexual women.”
Some studies indicate that between 20 and 35 percent of LGBTQIAP+ couples experience domestic violence.
According to another study, 50 percent of transgender people surveyed had been hit by a primary partner after coming out as transgender. LGBTQIAP+ youth report a 30 percent incidence of dating violence, compared to 9 percent for heterosexual students.
M.L. Walters, J. Chen, and M.J. Breiding, 2013, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation, Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18–20, accessed Dec. 13, 2013
LGBTQIAP+ people may fear that there is nowhere to turn for help due to homophobia, biphobia, queerphobia, and transphobia from police, courts, and even service providers. However, all survivors and allies that use SHARPP services have the right to respectful treatment of confidential information. All information and records pertaining to you will be kept confidential in accordance with NH RSA 173-C.
While many aspects of LGBTQIAP+ relationship abuse are similar to those experienced by heterosexual victims, it is not in all ways identical. Perpetrators often attempt highly specific forms of abuse based on identity and community dynamics, some of which include:
- “Outing” or threatening to out a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity to family, friends, employers, or in other situations where this disclosure may pose a threat.
- Telling the survivor that abusive behavior is a “normal” part of LGBTQIAP relationships, or that it cannot be relationship violence because it is occurring between LGBTQIAP+ individuals.
- Manipulating friends and family supports as well as generating sympathy and trust in order to cut off these resources to the survivor.
- Portraying the violence as mutual and even consensual, especially if the partner attempts to defend against it, or as an expression of masculinity or some other “desirable” trait.
- Interfering with hormones their partner is taking to transition, or forcing their partner to transition, interfering with insurance, or medical provider visits/appointments.
- Pressure not to report violence to avoid bringing increased stigma or conflict to the community.
Some research estimates that up to 50% of transgender individuals have experienced sexual violence. Sexual violence has been found to be even higher in some subpopulations within the trans community, including trans youth, trans people of color, individuals living with disabilities, homeless individuals, and those who are involved in sex work. For example, the 2011 Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 12% of trans youth report being sexually assaulted in K–12 settings by peers or educational staff; 13 percent of African-American trans people surveyed were sexually assaulted in the workplace, and 22% of trans individuals without permanent homes were assaulted while staying in shelters.
Because the transgender community is so interconnected, and most communities have limited resources and inclusive support services, trans individuals and their loved ones can experience challenges to access support if the perpetrator is also trans or closely connected to the trans community. In these cases, providers and community members should be prepared to help survivors find safe supporters and activities outside of that particular trans community but still in an affirming place.
Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) www.unh.edu/sharpp 603-862-3494
SHARPP works to eliminate sexual and intimate partner violence. SHARPP’s mission is accomplished in two parts: by providing free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies; and by offering culturally competent awareness and prevention programs to the University of New Hampshire community.
Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) www.unh.edu/pacs/
PACS is committed to serving UNH’s diverse campus community by providing students with support and education for their personal and academic success through confidential counseling, psychiatric consultation, and outreach and prevention services.
Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) www.unh.edu/omsa
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs provides support, advising, advocacy, and student development for African American/Black/African/Caribbean, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islanders, Native American/Indigenous/First Nations, Arab/Middle Eastern/Middle Eastern American, Biracial/Multiracial students, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning students. Supporting First-Generation College Students as well as Ally students is at the heart of our work.
Diversity Support Coalition wildcatlink.unh.edu/organization/DSC
The Diversity Support Coalition (DSC) seeks to promote, educate, and support multiculturalism, diversity, and equality at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) through programming and support of the DSC and its member groups. The DSC strives to keep the acceptance of multiculturalism, diversity, and equality at the forefront of the university culture. These ideas and concepts are supported by the student-run DSC itself and its current member groups (i.e., Alliance, The Black Student Union, Hillel, Mosaico, The Native American Cultural Association, and The United Asian Coalition). The DSC is open to all students who are interested in fostering inclusion and equity at UNH.
Affirmative Action and Equity Office www.unh.edu/affirmativeaction
This office is responsible for oversight of the University’s compliance efforts in regard to affirmative action, Title IX, disability laws and regulations, equal employment laws, and campus initiatives aimed at creating and sustaining a diverse, welcoming and equitable campus.
To see a list of other places SHARPP refers to check out www.unh.edu/sharpp/resources
Forge provides peer support to transgender individuals and local Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies (SOFFAs).
The institute increases public awareness and enhances state, local and national efforts to prevent and address LGBTQ intimate partner violence. The institute focuses on shaping policy, conducting research, and identifying best practices for preventing and intervening in LGBTQ intimate partner violence.
The NW Network increases our communities’ ability to support the self-determination and safety of bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay survivors of abuse through education, organizing, and advocacy. The NW Network offers support for survivors and community engagement+education.
The Network La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous, and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, their work aims to create a world where all people are free from oppression. TNLR focuses on organizing, education, and the provision of support services.
NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs, affiliate organizations, and individual affiliates working towards creating systemic and social change. NCAVP produces 2 annual national reports on LGBTQ Hate Violence & Intimate Partner Violence.