June is Pride Month
Each year, the month of June is dedicated to celebrating and honoring LGBTQI+ communities and individuals. Pride Month recognizes the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and individuals of other gender and sexual identities have had on the world. It also honors members of the community who have been lost, especially to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
STESA would also like to take this opportunity to provide education on the issue of sexual assault. LGBTQI+ individuals are at increased risk of sexual assault, particularly due to harmful stereotypes and myths about LGBTQI+ experiences. Many sexual assaults perpetrated against these individuals are hate crimes, committed with the intent to punish the target for their perceived nonconformity to traditional gender and sexual norms. In a study of 273 participants identifying as gay or lesbian, 52% of the participants reported at least one incident of sexual assault/coercion.
Perpetrators of sexual assault are often someone the survivor knows. According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Similarly, 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.
LGBTQI+ individuals also face unique challenges to healing from sexual assault due to barriers to access to resources, especially medical and legal resources. For example, LGBTQI+ survivors may be reluctant to disclose their assault out of fear that non-LGBTQI+ communities will reinforce the myth that LGBTQI+ relationships are dysfunctional. Additionally, the survivor may not be “out” and fear that coming forward will reveal the survivor’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, resulting in negative repercussions from non-LGBTQI+ communities.
Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) provides confidential counseling and support services to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones. Through education and awareness, STESA is committed to change the cultural norms that enable sexual assault to exist. Our service area extends from Carpinteria to the Santa Ynez Valley.
Phone: (805) 963-6832 ext 15
Executive Director: Elsa Granados
Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) – Formerly the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, empowers people through healing and social change to eliminate all forms of sexual violence. We are committed to transforming lives by providing services and education to meet the needs of our diverse community.
Begin to Build a Relationship
We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.
As a sexual assault survivor, I know first-hand the importance of STESA’s work. I remember how alone I felt following my assault, and it’s something I’d never wish for another survivor to experience. STESA plays an essential role in providing expert crisis and long-term supportive services to survivors in our community. STESA staff members are compassionate and dedicated to healing and empowering survivors, preventing sexual violence, and creating social change through education. By giving my time and financial support to STESA, I know that I am supporting other survivors and transforming lives.
Empower Survivors Through Healing and Social Change
The nightly news is filled with appalling damage caused by sexual assault to the individuals it touches and to our community’s well-being. Through the #MeToo movement, we have made important strides in support of survivors of sexual assault. Through this work, we hope that all perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable for their crimes and that survivors receive the support and justice they deserve.
For this purpose, please consider making a gift. Your donation ensures that the women and men who have experienced the trauma of sexual assault have a place where they can receive the counseling, advocacy, and other support services that are crucial to the healing process.
Your contribution assists us in supporting our community-wide education programs that create awareness and intolerance for sexual violence. With these educational programs, we can create significant social change, which will lead to the elimination of this brutal crime.
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