Experiences of sexual violence are commonplace among individuals within the LGBTQIA+ communities, with more than 63% of sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals experiencing victimization. Despite high rates of victimization, few individuals experiencing sexual assault seek services post-assault, with even fewer individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community accessing post-assault care. This is further exacerbated when considering the unmet treatment needs of sexual assault survivors and victims, where individuals commonly experience high rates of internalizing (i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety) and externalizing (i.e., substance use/misuse) symptoms for years after experiencing an assault. Although these experiences occur at alarming rates on college campuses, LGBTQIA+ college students may be more likely to seek services and treatment from off-campus providers for a variety of reasons, including privacy concerns and less rigid stereotypes in how services are delivered. Many college students and community members are unaware of their options for receiving post assault care off-campus and within their local communities. Therefore, in conjunction with the YWCA of Greater Lafayette, this service-learning project seeks to establish and build a relationship with a community-based provider responding to instances of sexual violence within the community. The first goal of this research is to support the YWCA in outreach efforts targeted to LGBTQIA+ victims of sexual assault, to increase awareness of the programs offered by the organization within these communities. The second goal of this research is to provide didactic trainings to community providers responding to sexual violence and assault to be able to more effectively deal with SGM individuals experiencing assault, and reduce the heightened barriers faced by this group in receiving post-assault care. Considerations as to how researchers can employ community-based participatory research frameworks to more effectively serve their local community will be discussed.
Oesterle, Daniel W.; Giorgini, Leah; and Eckhardt, Christopher
"Raising Awareness and Empowering Diverse Survivors: Addressing Mental and Physical Health Needs Among LGBTQIA+ Community Members Post-Sexual Assault,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 8
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol8/iss1/20