Sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. Women of all sexual identities bear the disproportionate burden of gender-based violence, but we also must recognize the diverse experiences of survivors who represent any and all genders, gender identities and sexual orientations. LGBTQIA, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and gender nonconforming communities often represent a direct contradiction to expected and assigned gender roles in society, and as a result are at heightened risk of gender-based violence. Some sexual assault and harassment may be directed at individuals as a hate crime specifically because of their identities, other times, abusers may use the victim’s identity, status of being “out” or traditional gender norms as a way to maintain power and control.
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