New NISVS data points to high rates of harm against bisexual women, LGBTQ+ folks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) Report on Victimization by Sexual Identity Wednesday, pointing to increased rates of sexual violence against LGBTQ folks, but especially bisexual women of color.
According to survey data, nearly half of bisexual women were raped in their lifetimes, with 4 in 5 bisexual reporting experiencing some form of contact sexual violence (CSV), 1 in 2 reporting being stalked, and 7 in 10 experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) or stalking.
In addition to higher rates of violence, NISVS survey data found that bisexual women experience violence at an early age, with nearly 1 in 3 reporting harm caused before the age of 10.
As is often the case with sexual and intimate partner violence, racial and ethnic minority groups experienced a heavy burden of violence across all sexual identities, but especially bisexual women.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) monitors lifetime experiences of violence for men and women separately by sexual identity, to show how violence victimization differs across communities. This report on victimization by sexual identity was prepared based off of 2016/2017 data.
Other key findings from the report included:
- Sexual violence is common. More than 1 in 4 lesbian women, almost half of bisexual women, and over 1 in 4 heterosexual women in the U.S. were raped during their lifetimes.
- About a quarter of gay men were raped during their lifetimes. One in 4 gay men and more than 1 in 5 bisexual men were made to penetrate someone else during their lifetimes.
- Gay and bisexual men also experienced high lifetime prevalence of stalking and intimate partner contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking with impacts. Over half of gay and bisexual men reported experiencing CSV, and 1 in 4 were stalked in their lifetimes.
- Over 1 in 3 gay and bisexual men reported experiencing CSV, PV, and/or stalking by an intimate partner with measured impacts during their lifetimes.
- Racial and ethnic minority groups experienced a heavy burden of violence. CSV was highly prevalent among bisexual women of all racial/ethnic groups.
- Approximately half of all Hispanic gay men, White gay men, and White bisexual men experienced CSV, PV, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetimes.
The 2016/2017 survey did not have a large enough sample of transgender people to develop estimates on victimization to include. CDC noted that it is committed to identifying the best methods to get national estimates of SV, IPV, and stalking experiences by transgender people.
The recent NISVS data is further evidence of an urgent need to prevent violence across sexual identities. Research that adapts and evaluates evidence-based SV and IPV prevention approaches for LGBTQ+ and other sexual and gender minorities, along with efforts to address broader societal homophobic norms and structural inequalities, is a vital element of primary prevention strategies.
You can read the full NISVS report on victimization by sexual identity here.