From our inception, In Solidarity, We Resist has prioritized gender and sexual inclusion in our work to make space for the voices and stories of survivors of sexual assault. Now more than ever we understand the urgency in supporting those made most vulnerable through institutionally enforced marginalization. Queer and Transgender (Q&T) folks- particularly Q&T folks of color-face ever increasing risk of assault paired with a lack of systemically supportive policy when assaults occur. By decentering heteronormative ideas about sexual assault, we hope narratives of Q&T survivors will be made visible and that our communities will have access to healing and support that is largely lacking through mainstream SA advocacy groups.
Queer and Transgender (Q&T) communities are among the most vulnerable to sexual assault. Q&T folks face higher rates of poverty, job loss, homelessness, and marginalization which increases risk of sexual assault and other violent attacks; yet the national focus on sexual violence continues to follow a cisgender heteronormative narrative. Q&T Communities on and off campuses around the country have begun to speak out against Queer erasure within consent and SA narratives (see demonstration at Morehouse, for example). ISWR joins voices with the larger Queer collective against erasure and works to combat rape culture rooted in the patriarchal normativity that permeates our society. Sexual violence has affected all genders, abilities, ethnicities, and classes; thus an intersectional approach is the only answer to a consistently marginalizing mainstream SA awareness framework. When we don’t give space to a variety of narratives we isolate survivors who are from the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
People who have experienced sexual violence have higher rates of PTSD, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and suicide (RAINN). Institutional reinforcement of normalizing narratives contributes to the further increased levels of PTSD, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and suicide experienced by Queer survivors. Isolation from our communities and further marginalization can only increase those rates- we believe it is our responsibility to address the gap in support for Q&T Survivors, and to begin to fill in that gap locally.
“One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent, often coupled with physical assaults or abuse. This indicates that the majority of transgender individuals are living with the aftermath of trauma and the fear of possible repeat victimization.” – Office of Victims of Crime
- 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women
- 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men
- 46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians
- 22 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women
- 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men