ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are We Still Forgetting Same-Sex Violence too?

Updated on December 7, 2017
MollyOHara profile image

Molly O'Hara is a pet blogger and freelance writer with a background in LGBTQ+ advocacy and nonprofit work.


We stand for women's safety from men, but where is the same-sex discussion?

Stop ignoring this problem too.

That year (2014) I spent Valentine’s Day on my couch, sick and alone. That didn’t bother me, but missing out on the flash-mob for One Billion Rising really did. Women had transformed V-Day into a day of power. It was our turn to take control, to say no and I here I was, all alone, unable to add my voice to those who were rising.

As I indulged in trash TV, ice cream, and self-pity, I was struck. All these voices calling out to end violence against women and likely very few of them are thinking of female-on-female sexual assault or domestic violence too?

Last year, I probably wouldn’t have thought of it either. Gay women have a stereotype of being safe; why not, after all, they are women too, shouldn't they be as concerned about as I? I was taught that I could drop my shield as I was as I moved around in the lesbian community. I had never been put in a position of true powerlessness in any lesbian encounter I had until last spring.

It took a few weeks after my assault to realize that there was a name for what had happened to me, date rape. It hadn’t occurred to me until I was telling a friend the story. As the phrases “too drunk,” “couldn’t stop her,” “had to yell ‘no’ several times and push her off of me,” came out of my mouth I knew what I was saying, but I did not really understand it, even then. The images we have about lesbians do not include ones who violate you.

It took a little bit for me to sober up enough to be able to yell and get her to stop. And then I felt so stupid. Stupid and angry. Worse, I still had to sleep there because I had nowhere else to go.

In no heterosexual context would I be sleeping over on a first date just because I didn’t feel like driving home, but with another woman, another gay woman at that, it felt fine. Except that it wasn’t. I had betrayed everything I knew about keeping myself safe only because I was with a woman and in return, she violated my body.

Mine isn’t the only story. Marie* was in a relationship for over a year with one woman, Dominique*. Shortly after they began dating, Dominique became controlling and abusive. Marie felt like she was trapped, unable to escape, as night after night she was forced to have sex with her “partner.”

Her story broke my heart as she talked about the look in Dominique's eyes, how if she wanted something, Marie had to perform no matter how much pain she was in, how now Marie could not participate in sexual activities, even with a trusted partner. She lost relationships over her struggle.

It took Marie a year after the relationship ended before she could talk about it out loud and even longer to have the courage to call it rape.

Now I add my voice to One Billion Rising. The silence must end.

Originally written in 2014. Just as pertinent today.

*Names have been changed

Your Experience with Same-Sex Violence and Assault

What, if any, has your experience regarding same-sex violence and assault been?

See results

"As a community, LGBTQ people face higher rates of poverty, stigma, and marginalization, which put us at greater risk for sexual assault. We also face higher rates of hate-motivated violence, which can often take the form of sexual assault.

Moreover, the ways in which society both hypersexualizes LGBTQ people and stigmatizes our relationships can lead to intimate partner violence that stems from internalized homophobia and shame."

— Human Rights Campaign

What DO the statistics say?

The statistics show it, domestic violence is as prevalent in same-sex relationships as in opposite sex ones. This includes sexual violence.

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found for LGB people:

  • 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 heterosexual women
  • 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men
  • 46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians
  • 22 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women
  • 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men

It’s hard to find statistics directly regarding same-sex assault by a stranger. I tried. I have a friend who has been assaulted twice by unknown women. Who knew? Only those who have been through it. Radio silence does nothing to help anybody.

© 2014 Molly O'Hara


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MollyOHara profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly O'Hara 

      4 years ago from Vermont

      Yes! I know, and too few queer communities are willing to acknowledge it. Thank you for reading and responding.

    • emilyzeinert profile image

      Emily Zeinert 

      4 years ago from Central Coast, NSW, Australia

      Thank you for speaking up about this issue. It really irks me that the domestic violence ignores all other gendered victims and perpetrators.

      Great article!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)