Nearly half of gay and bisexual men have experienced sexual assault, according to a report published by SurvivorsUK.
Carried out by Survation, a polling and marketing research company, the survey is one of the first of its kind looking into gay and bisexual men’s experience of sexual violence; and it also found that among those who reported experiencing sexual violence, nearly 40% felt they could not tell anyone about it. Not surprisingly, reporting rates among gay and bisexual men are particularly low, with only 14% of respondents who experienced sexual assault saying that they had reported it to law enforcers.
Other key findings of the survey included:
- 45% of gay and bisexual men experienced sexual assault
- 37% of gay and bisexual men felt they could not speak to anyone after experiencing
- sexual assault
- Over a third of gay and bisexual men reported experiencing sexual assault in a bar or pub
- Only 14% of those who experienced sexual assault reported it to the police; and sadly, among those who reported to the police, nearly a third said they felt they were not believed or their complaint was not taken seriously
- A quarter reported that an intimate picture of them was shared by someone with a third party without their consent
Thirty-two percent of the respondents said that they felt the LGBTQIA community was supportive of survivors, with 37% actually aware of sexual violence. Nonetheless, even within the lGBTQIA community, there are still feelings of dismissal (16%), victim blaming (12%), normalization (15%) and fetishization (19%).
“There is much work to be done to raise awareness about this issue in the (LGBTQIA) community and beyond as well as ensuring that the police and criminal justice system, which currently fails so many survivors, is a safe and accessible place for gay and bisexual men. It is absolutely crucial in opening up this challenging discussion that oxygen is not given to any of the dangerous homophobic rape myths which are prevalent in our criminal justice system and blame victims; in particular, the false assumption that gay and bi men are promiscuous so therefore their consent is somehow assumed or has less value,” SurvivorsUK stated.