Posted by David Mullins | Mar 26, 2021 Grift.ie
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, sexual violence affects every demographic and every community – including LGBTQ people.
In fact, one of the most wide-ranging reviews to date of Same Sex Intimate Partner Violence concluded that “despite the myth that intimate partner violence is only an issue in heterosexual relationships, its occurrence among lesbian gay bisexual couples was demonstrated to be comparable to or higher than heterosexual cases.”
Another finding, this time from the CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey for Lesbian Gay and Bisexual people concluded that 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of straight women.
The problem is of such depth and persistence over time that Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have even gone so far as to say that there is “an epidemic of sexual violence in the LGBTQ community.”
This view is also shared by the recently established LGBTQ+ advocacy group here in Ireland, Queers United Against Sexual Assault, (QUASA).
Indeed, one of the founding members of QUASA, himself a sexual assault survivor, has said that “predatory behaviour” is “rampant” within the Irish LGBTQ+ community and that there is an urgent need for a “me too movement within the gay community in Ireland.”
The same founding member went on to say that in terms of sexual violence the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland “have both actively and passively ignored and moved on from truly terrible things that have happened to us.”
When asked about how QUASA hoped to affect positive change in terms of reducing sexual violence they said, “listening and learning from victims,” and urging LGBTQ+ people to be “aware of your surroundings” were key.
QUASA also say that they are seeking to raise awareness and education around what they have described as “the enormous IBSA problem within the queer community.” IBSA is Image Based Sexual Assault.
This is something that has already been partially addressed in The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017 which was passed by the Dáil in December of 2020.
Although to the best of my knowledge, at no point during the passage of the Bill did the ‘enormous problem’ of image based sexual assault within the Irish LGBTQ+ community figure prominently in the debates. For the most part it dealt with the appalling practices surrounded ‘revenge porn’ within the heterosexual population.
Experiences and findings such as those highlighted by the CDC and now QUASA have also been previously reflected in the Rape Crisis Network’ statistical report Finding A Safe Place: LGBT survivors of sexual violence and disclosure in Rape Crisis Centres.
That particular report found that lesbian and bisexual female survivors disclosed higher rates of abuse by male and female perpetrators abusing together (10%) than heterosexual females (2%).
The same report also found that transgender survivors who were using the services in the time period the report covered, were not included in the statistical analysis due to the numbers being too low to safely do so.
It should be fairly clear at this point that there is a huge, but unspoken level of sexual violence and harassment within the LGBTQ communities.
It should also be clear that as a society we are just not having anything like the levels of conversation we need to be having around the supports and practices that can be put in place to combat this.
Having conversations of this kind would simply remind us all that there is no such thing as a cultural utopia free from pain and suffering.
It is because all human life matters and because all of us are entitled to live a life free from violence, from womb to tomb, that this is something we should all oppose regardless of where we stand on the wider political spectrum.
After all, who wants to live in society where predatory behaviour is rampant, regardless of who it is directed at?
Violence in the LGBT movement is not news to me.
Over the years I’ve dealt with many gay and lesbian partners undergoing physical violence from their partners.
However, the problem is not only one to one violence.
There are gay gangs that go out looking for to gang assault and rape gay men.
Some of these gangs also are involved in drugs taking and dealing.
Currently, I have a friend who is taking an Ombudsman case against the PSNI for not taking his sexual assaults at the hands of a drug associated “fisting gang” seriously and acting upon it.
AMONG PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS:
In the last few days, we have been dealing with the case of a young man who alleges he was drugged and tgen raped by a Northern Ireland priest.
The particular priest is well for having a serious alcohol and drug problem.
And rape is about a serious crime as you can commit, short of murder.
We have heard stories from Maynooth of limbs being broken and anal tissue being ripped during seminarian gay sex parties.
We have heard of torture behaviour.
There is the unsolved stories of the two damaged Killaloe ex seminarians.
So it seems that, to whatever extent, priests and seminarians are involved in the bigger LGBT predatory violence story 😫