Feminism, LGBTQ rights, and sexual violence: Making the connections

Jill Laster is the language access specialist at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.woman with rainbow colored rubber bands on hand

As you’ve probably already heard, LGBTQ rights are all over the news today. As I am reading the stories, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the relationships among feminism, social justice, and sexual violence.

For me, feminism is making sure women have the same rights as men. Period. Full stop. But, of course, it’s never as simple as it sounds. That’s especially true because our work as feminists doesn’t exist in a bubble – you can’t take social justice and “divide it up among the movements.” The idea of making laws, cultural norms, and agencies accessible to everyone means that every single marginalized group must have a seat at the table.

That’s a long way to say: We’re all in this together. Additionally, social justice movements are inextricably linked to anti-sexual violence work. Why? Every single marginalized – and privileged – group is affected by sexual violence and everyone deserves a voice in the help or resources they receive.

There are a lot of great resources that discuss the collective social justice movement, LGBTQ rights, and feminism. In this post, I wanted to share just a few of our resources – and some other favorites – that specifically discuss sexual violence in LGBTQ communities:

Sexual Violence & Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQ Information Packet
This packet by the NSVRC and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape includes:

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation
This report pulls out national survey data to discuss sexual-violence victimization in the U.S. against gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. A fact sheet is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) giving a brief overview of the findings; The CDC also has a good site on LGBT health.

Setting the Stage: Strategies For Supporting LGBTIQ Survivors
This 28-page guide from the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs provides an overview for advocates on providing support to LGBTIQ survivors.

Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender / Queer or Questioning resource list by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
NCDSV has created a comprehensive list of resources and tools that advocates and other allies can use.

The organization FORGE hosts a number of resources, discussions, and trainings related to violence against transgender individuals, including sexual violence.

Again, these are just a few of the many resources out there on sexual violence and LGBTQ communities. I would love to hear some of your favorites. If you have any questions on this topic, you can also email our staff.