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CDC Finds High Rates of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Individuals

CDC Finds High Rates of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Individuals

January 29, 2013 — Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are at least as likely as heterosexuals to experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking, according to a CDC report, Reuters reports.

The study offers the first national data on the issue, CDC said. The agency examined data from its 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which included more than 16,000 adults in the U.S.

The report found that about 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women reported experiencing intimate partner violence, while 35% of heterosexual women reported such violence. Meanwhile, such violence was reported by 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men, compared with 29% of heterosexual men.

In addition, CDC found that in the majority of acts of violence against women, the perpetrator was a man, regardless of the woman's sexual orientation. Forty-eight percent of bisexual women who had been raped experienced their first rape between ages 11 and 17, compared with 28% of heterosexual women.

The report recommended further research on the issues.

Response

Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the findings indicate the need to pass his version (S 47) of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill, which includes protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

"[N]o victim of these crimes should be denied access to these crucial services," Leahy said in a statement (Heavey, Reuters, 1/25).