June is Pride month for LGBTQIA+ communities and allies!
Vibrant celebrations, parades, dance parties, and rainbow tutus can be joyous celebrations of queer communities. At the same time, corporate sponsorships and commercial exploitation can often render large-scale Pride events void of the activism and resilience that started Pride in the first place. Events like the Stonewall Rebellion, often led by queer people of color responding to police brutality, raids of queer spaces, and general injustice and prejudice.
That injustice and prejudice continues through today. We honored the one-year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse attack. Every day at SARC we are aware that sexual violence against and within queer communities presents unique barriers to accessing services, healing, and justice.
The Center for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey gathered data on sexual violence against LGBTQ individuals. Unsurprisingly, trans women of color experience higher rates of sexual violence, often as early as childhood. Similarly, bisexual women and men face alarmingly higher rates of sexual violence and intimate partner violence. These are just some findings that reflect the reality of sexual violence against queer individuals.
So while SARC celebrates Pride with joy and determined optimism, we also recognize the inequities queer communities face on a daily basis. As an agency, our staff and volunteers are both members and allies of these communities. Our services reflect that. We stand by LGBTQIA+ survivors every day, providing space that is welcoming, safe, and empowering.
If you or someone you know if seeking services following a sexual assault, call our support line, 503-640-5311, or visit our Services webpage.