Instead of taking decisive steps to oppose “corrective rape” and domestic violence, the hardline ex-gay Restored Hope Network yesterday cited antigay and antibisexual violence as a reason for non-heterosexual women to closet themselves. RHN also implies that those who “embrace the label of lesbian or bisexual woman” may expect sexual violence as a result.
Writing on Facebook, RHN said:
Danger reported that is faced by those who embrace the label of lesbian or bisexual woman.
“About 46 percent of women who self-identified as bisexual told federal authorities that they had been raped—a stunning statistic compared with the 17 percent of heterosexual women who reported experiencing such sexual violence in the same report.
“But in the White House report, the federal government makes an attempt to do so. The report cites multiple sources, from medical journals to national studies, concluding that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are “uniquely vulnerable” to rape.
“Most victims, gay or straight, were raped by someone they knew, either a current or former sexual partner or an acquaintance. Victims of rape can suffer from a lifetime of repercussions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. Some of these effects are amplified in LGBTQ victims.
‘”LGBTQ folks have a higher rate of coping mechanisms from trauma,” said Taylor, which can include depression, addiction, or suicidal thoughts.”
RHN misquotes this article as its source. The source does not say that sexual orientation is a cause or consequence of sexual violence, and it notes that the federal Violence Against Women Act aids rape and abuse survivors, especially LGBT survivors who in the past have been excluded from homophobic shelter programs.
While RHN implicitly encourages non-disclosure of orientation as a means to prevent sexual violence, countless other organizations such as Men Can Stop Rape continue to teach people that sex is not an entitlement, that sexual violence is not a sign of strength, and that silence may allow further violence to occur.
Clarification: We do not believe RHN condones rape or sexual violence. However, it seems clear from RHN’s wording that it considers sexual violence to be a consequence of honesty about one’s sexual orientation.