A British activist has said a straight couple raped her for being bisexual.
Sali Owen, a bi rights activist from Manchester, says she was assaulted and raped by a man and a woman.
Her story features in the Radio 1 Newsbeat documentary Battling to be Bi.
The film also follows a campaign for a British Pride event aimed at bisexual people.
Bi activist raped by straight couple
‘It went on for hours and hours,’ Owen said.
‘There’s a lot of it I don’t remember but I remember the pain.’
Many of Owen’s memories of the alleged sexual assault took weeks to come back to her.
‘They were just giving me loads to drink and I was drinking water because I’d had enough,’ she said.
‘But I kept finding vodka in front of me, not water.’
In the lead-up to the attack, the couple repeatedly asked questions about her sexuality. This didn’t seem unusual at first due to her work as a bi rights activist.
‘When I stood up to go to bed they stood up as well and they grabbed me and that’s when it started,’ she said.
Owen said she was ‘smacked so hard around the head that everything went white’.
Feeling unable to report it to the police
She believes she was there for six hours in total.
‘The only reason they let me out in the end was because they had work to do,’ she said.
‘So I went home, then passed out for a bit, and when I woke up I went to A&E.’
Owen didn’t even realize at first she had been raped. And despite the violence, she didn’t go to the police because she felt it wouldn’t be successful in court.
Only around 2% of reported rapes in England and Wales result in conviction.
She said: ‘Although I fully support people who do go to the police about sexual violence… bi women are seen as greedy, slutty, asking for it.
‘So if I’d even had got as far as it having made it to court – which wouldn’t happen anyway because it would’ve been dropped long before that – there’s no way I’d win.’
Bi women are more likely to have experienced rape or sexual assault in their lifetime compared to straight or gay women.
The United Nations Human Rights Council says gay and bi women are ‘especially at risk’ of being victims of sexual violence.
Looking for support?
If you want more information about rape, sexual assault or any of the issues in this article you may want to try some of these organizations:
- Galop – LGBT anti-violence charity
- Survivors UK
- Survivors Manchester
- Antidote – LGBT health and wellbeing
Globally we have also compiled a list of LGBTI friendly organizations you may wish to seek help from.