Launch of guide for lesbian and bisexual women affected by sexual violence

Front cover of booklet

As the world marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Tony Lloyd has welcomed the launch of a guide for lesbian and bisexual women who have been affected by sexual violence.

A UK first, the ground-breaking booklet, developed by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF), is aimed at providing survivors of rape or sexual violence with information and help to find the support they need. 

The guide is the first of a planned series of three information booklets – funded by Tony – for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people who are survivors of sexual violence.

Tony said: “Sexual violence is an issue that affects all communities and sadly there are too many victims within the LGBT community suffering in silence.

“That’s why this guide is an important step in giving lesbian and bisexual women the confidence to come forward, to report sexual violence and get the vital help and support they need.  I’m proud to support the work The LGF are doing to raise awareness of this issue and hope it provides a lifeline to survivors of sexual assault and rape,” he added.

Research suggests that LGB&T people often fail to access support services for fear of experiencing homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. This is a huge issue, in particular for those requiring support around domestic or sexual violence, as mainstream services are often not experienced in dealing with same-sex abuse.

Siân Lambert, Women’s Programme Coordinator for The LGF, said: “Being a survivor of sexual violence is obviously traumatic for any woman. But lesbian and bisexual women may be additionally affected by homophobia or biphobia or by assumptions and stereotypes about their lives. Just like heterosexual women, lesbian and bisexual women can be assaulted by current or former partners, by family members or by acquaintances or strangers. In some cases, women are sexually assaulted as a hate crime because of their sexual orientation. This booklet acknowledges that women who have relationships with women can also be affected by rape and sexual violence and offers support and reassurance to those women who are survivors.”

You can download ‘A guide for lesbian and bisexual women who have been affected by sexual violence’ here: http://www.lgf.org.uk/downloads/353

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