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Sexual Violence and Help-Seeking Among LGBQ and Heterosexual College Students

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This study sought to address underserved victims of sexual violence by examining reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking events among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) and heterosexual college students. There were 2,790 students (2,482 heterosexual students and 308 LGBQ students) across 4 years who completed an online, anonymous survey measuring self-reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking. Chi-square analyses and Fisher's exact tests were conducted to determine differences in reports of sexual violence between LGBQ and heterosexual participants. Events reported by LGBQ students were significantly more likely to involve threatened sexual intercourse and sexual contact while intoxicated as compared to events reported by heterosexual students. Similar low rates of help-seeking following a sexual violence event were found among LGBQ and heterosexual victims, with most victims citing that the event was not serious enough to warrant help. LGBQ victims were significantly more likely to report that they did not seek help because they thought they would be blamed. Both LGBQ and heterosexual college students would benefit from education on issues of sexual violence, particularly the relationship between substance use and consent.
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Keywords: EDUCATION; RAPE; SEXUAL ORIENTATION; SUBSTANCE USE; SUPPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2015-01-01

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  • Partner Abuse, a peer-reviewed journal, recognizes that physical and emotional abuse among dating, cohabitating and married partners is as a major public health and social problem in North America and around the world. Its purpose is to advance knowledge, practice and policies through a commitment to rigorous, objective research and evidence-based solutions. In addition to original research papers and literature reviews, the journal welcomes viewpoints and commentaries on the topic of partner abuse, as well as clinical case studies, book reviews and letters to the editor.
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