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LGB People Experience Domestic Violence at Same Rate as Heterosexuals

By Trudy Ring

Gays lesbians, and bisexuals experience domestic violence and sexual violence over their lifetimes at rates equal to or greater than those of heterosexuals, and this data points up the need for services to this population, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, released today, is the first nationwide report to classify data on this phenomenon by the sexual orientation of the respondents. While it does not whether violence occurs more often in same-sex or opposite sex couples, it “suggests that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner,” said CDC director Tom Frieden in a press release. Frieden also commented on how to address the problem: “While intervening and providing services are important, prevention is equally critical.”

Among the findings: Bisexual women report a higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, at 61.1 %, than either lesbians (43.8%) or straight women (35%). The majority of women, regardless of their sexual orientation,  who reported experiencing sexual violence said the perpetrator was male. Of the bisexual women who experienced intimate partner violence, 90% reported having only male perpetrators, while two thirds of lesbians reported having only female perpetrators. The report is based on 2010 data.

Go here for the full report.

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