21 March 2023

LGBTQ+ People’s Experiences and Perceptions of Sexual Violence Report

ACON has released a report based on the findings from two NSW based surveys relating to community experiences and perceptions of Sexual Violence (LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of sexual violence and LGBTQ+ people’s perceptions of sexual violence). This project was a collaboration between ACON and external researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Tasmania. This research was funded and made possible by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

This research was conducted, and the report was written by Eloise Layard, Jade Parker, Teddy Cook, Joël Murray, Professor Nicole Asquith, Dr Bianca Fileborn, Dr Ron Mason, Dr Ash Barnes, Associate Professor Angela Dwyer, and Dr Shaez Mortimer.

Research participants shared with us about their experiences of sexual violence over the life course, as well as about the impacts of sexual violence on their health, relationships and lives.

This report sheds light on the nature of participant’s most impactful experiences of sexual violence, as well as about disclosure and reporting of that experience. Participants also shared with us about what helpful responses to their disclosures looked like, and what helped them on their healing journey. Overall, they told us that self-support and healing is deeply personal and diverse- there is no ‘right’ way to heal.

ACON’s perceptions of sexual violence survey found that LGBTQ+ people understand that our communities are frequently not believed about sexual violence, and that we face barriers accessing affirming services. There was a community perception that sexual violence is not spoken about regularly in LGBTQ+ communities, due to the ‘need’ to present a positive picture of our relationships. LGBTQ+ people want to be able to support their friends and community members, and have strong pro-social attitudes to speak out against sexual violence.

You can download a copy of the research report here.

You can watch our report launch here.

This report contains an executive summary and many quotes from our participants. In the coming months, we will also be releasing a series of briefing papers to further explore the findings of our research surveys, with a strong intersectional focus.

You can also find an exploration of some of the key findings of this report in The Conversation article: ‘The reporting process was more traumatising than the assault itself’: LGBTQ+ survivors on accessing support after sexual violence.


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