Earlier this month, the United Nations issued a survey that investigated LGBT+ issues globally. The study found that bisexual women were at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence and abuse compared to the rest of the LGBT+ community.
Several countries, including the UK, US and Canda found that bi women are most likely to experience rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
The report comes a short time before the UK government published the largest survey investigating the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual and asexual individuals living in the country.
Despite research that found that almost half of the queer community identifies as bisexual, issues surrounding bisexual and pansexual people are hardly mentioned or funded. This means that those who identify as bisexual are often forced to use support services directed towards straight or lesbian/gay people.
Studies found that bisexual women living in the UK are five times more likely to be abused by a partner than heterosexual women. In some cases, 10.8% of bi women reported abuse compared to 8.2% of lesbians and 6% of straight women.
Dr. Nicole Johnson, who researches intimate partner violence, found that bisexual women are at a higher risk of sexual abuse based on three categories: substance misuse, hypersexualization, and biphobic harassment.
“The media, and pornography, in particular, have long depicted women’s bisexuality as less about sexual agency and more about the pleasure of straight men, which may result in the dehumanisation and objectification of bisexual women resulting in increased acceptance of violence [against them],” says Dr. Johnson.
She also said that the biphobic stereotype that bi people are not to be trusted is linked to sexual violence against bisexuals.
Founder of Bis of Colour, Jacq Applebee, believes that bisexual survivors often don’t seek support due to the lack of understanding and biphobia within the LGBT+ community.
The intersections between gender, race, ability, etc. further determine the risk of violence an individual faces. Someone with multiple oppressions is the most likely to experience sexual violence. For example, evidence from America reports that bisexual trans women are the most likely to experience violence.
One woman interviewed by the Independent, says she was assaulted in her sleep by a former partner. She said she is either seen as non-sexual because of her disability or promiscuous because of her sexuality. She feels “completely invisible as a survivor”.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the national LGBT+ hotline at 1890 929 539 or visit this site for a variety of LGBT+ resources.
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