Friday, April 18, 2014

Queerness and Sexual Assault


It was not until this year that I was able to come to terms with the fact that sexual assault was possible within Queer relationships. I am a woman who likes other women. I fought so hard to be accepted, to love how I wanted without people telling me I was going to go to hell.  So after I won that tolerance among my friends and family, I could rarely talk about my relationships, let alone complain about them. "You're the one who wants to live like that. If you were with a man..." I knew that they would never understand that my relationship problems could be anyone's relationship problems. Maybe if they had heard me out, they would have been able to help me realize how toxic my past relationship was.

This pressure, along with many others, may be the reason why sexual assault among Queer couples is sometimes higher than in heterosexual relationships.

In 90% of all sexual assaults, the survivor actually knows their attacker personally.

This reality is scary-an attacker could be anyone. For many people, it is people that they are in a relationship with because possessiveness and persistence to have sex could be mistaken for want, passion, or love, and the discomfort is overlooked without a second thought. Queer people, or at least in my personal situation, know I was always looking for people to want and love me because no one ever did after I came out. I was turned away from a lot of my straight friends out of fear that I would hit on them, and there were no other Queer people around me until I started looking for anyone outside of my straight social life in high school. That is when I found someone who would love me and become my attacker.

In 90% of all sexual assaults, the survivor actually knows their attacker personally.

What further scares me about this statistic is that sometimes, when Queer people come out for the first time, they might experience sexual assault because there is so much hatred in some hearts, they think that "they want it anyway" as an excuse to hurt Queer people. I have seen countless documentaries, movies, and have heard personal stories where Queer people have been stalked, harassed, and even raped because people around them think they deserve to be hurt. What is even worse is that there are no consequences to the attacker afterwards because "he wanted gay sex, so I gave it to him" becomes a valid excuse. THIS IS BEYOND NOT OKAY. Just because someone is Queer, does not mean they are asking for any type of sexual assault.  NO ONE IS EVER ASKING FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT.

I did not believe sexual assault was possible in Queer people's lives-but it is one of the most heartbreaking and harshest realities of being Queer in this world.

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