Sexual Assault Among Same Sex Couples Is A Real Issue

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Let’s Start Treating It That Way

 We live in a grab ‘em by the pu**y society.

A culture where sexual violence is brushed off and joked about. Where misogynists hold positions of power and create a dynamic of rationalizing unwanted sexual acts. As a result, we are left with an overwhelming number of cases of rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault that go unreported and unrecognized; the unspoken voices of women who find themselves questioning which is harder to deal with- surviving or reporting. And although men can be victims of rape, decades of statistics prove that women are raped and assaulted at a much higher rate, most commonly at the hands of men. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped in their lifetime.

There is no shortage of data when it comes to rape and sexual assault, and there is never an easy way to talk about it, but we all have been a part of the conversation at one point in time. The conversations with young men, teaching them “No Means No.” The phone calls from mom or dad telling you to “be careful, don’t leave your drink unattended.” We have seen it so many times when we turn on the news, even discussed it during the presidential race. It is not an easy topic to discuss but is as permanent a stain on American culture and society as slavery. What is not discussed, however, is the issue of sexual assault among individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ issues have always caused controversy and discomfort for many, and although there are some matters within our community that have garnered mainstream attention such as marriage equality and same-sex adoption rights, that is just the very tip of the iceberg. There are several issues within the LGBTQ community that are not discussed because our problems are seldom viewed as problems but merely as conscious choices that land us in compromising positions which is why speaking up and starting these conversations is so important.

We know the headline, “Man, accused of sexually assaulting woman. Woman seeks justice.” But what about the lesbian woman who is raped by her female partner? Or the gay man who is groped? Or the trans woman who is touched inappropriately in the subway car? Where are those headlines? We do not see them, even though these stories do exist. This is because, society believes that if you are LGBTQ, this is a lifestyle that you “chose,” so sympathy and compassion is not warranted. How can a woman rape another woman? How can a gay man be raped, they want sex all the time right? Wrong. We have conversations with our young men about what it means to consent with their female partners, but who talks to a young lesbian woman about consent? Who tells them that when their female partner says “No!” that it means “No!” and that their actions of assault are equally as harmful, illegal, and scarring as those of heterosexual men? When are those conversations had? When is that connection made? These are real issues. We are real people, and our consent spans gender and sexual identity. Our consent is not predicated on whether we are the same gender as our attacker. Our lack of consent means something too! It means STOP!

In a society that perpetuates rape culture, from misogynistic song lyrics to tape recordings of the current POTUS, when it comes to sexual assault, America is already an unforgiving place. Add to that, the biases of a society that is plagued with stereotypes and the sexual demonization of members of the LGBTQ community, the cards of disbelief are stacked against us but it starts with conversations WITHIN the community about consent and the fact that YES if your friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, or partner touches you against your will IT IS assault. That YES, if they have sex with you without consent, IT IS rape. These rules do not only apply to heterosexual couples, they apply to us all.

It is time to hold our partners accountable for their actions regarding sex and sexual consent. It is time to realize that although, my gender may be the same as yours, that in no way shape or form counts as consent.

 

 

 

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