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Gay and bisexual Californians are at increased risk of sexual assault

Gay and bisexual Californians are at increased risk of sexual assault

Sexual harassment is prevalent in marginalised communities in California.

A new report has shed a light on the sexual assault incidents reported by LGBTI Californians.

Particularly, overall Californians who identify as gay or bisexual are at higher risk of sexual harassment and assault than straight people.

Results also showed that reported sexual harassment is 5% higher for women and 10% higher for men than the national average.

Sexual assault prevalent in marginalized communities

The research is a joint  effort from the Center for Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the nonprofit organization California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA).

‘California has led the nation’s focus on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement,’ said Anita Raj. Raj is a professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of GEH.

‘This report offers a stark look at the widespread prevalence of verbal, physical and cyber-based sexual harassment in the Golden State,’ she also said.

She furthermore added: ‘This report demonstrates that sexual harassment is prevalent and ubiquitous, but at the same time, we also see higher rates on some of our most marginalized residents, such as gay, lesbian and bisexual people and foreign-born men.’

Californian gay and bi people more likely to be sexually assaulted

According to the study, four out of five lesbian and bi women have faced sexual assault. On the other hand, only one in four straight women has been victim of sexual assault.

Three out of four gay and bisexual men have faced sexual harassment, such as stalking and unwanted sexual touching. Only one out of three straight men have experienced the same issue.

Men born outside the US are also more likely to be victims of sexual harassment. Three out of four foreign-born men reported harassment compared to one out of two US-born men living in the state.

Desperate need for education about sexual consent

David S. Lee, director of prevention, CALCASA, said that the study offers yet another confirmation of the desperate need for education about sexual consent.

‘Prevention efforts, including education in schools as early as possible, around issues of consent and harassment are crucial,’ said Lee.

‘We know that prevention works, and it’s necessary to shift to a culture where individuals look out for one another.’

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