Last year it was discovered that bisexual women were more likely to have depression or anxiety than straight women—the head researcher said this was likely due to dealing with the stigma against bisexuals. Now, the first national study that examines abuse rates by womens' self-identified sexual orientation has discovered that they're nearly twice as likely to be abused at the hands of a partner than straight women are. The study, which was conducted in 2010 but just released Friday:
found that 35% of straight women had experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner at some point in their lives. But 43.8% of lesbian women had experienced one of the three, as had a full 61.1% of bisexual women. [...] 46.1% of [bisexual women] had experienced rape at some point, compared with 13.1% of lesbian women and 14.7% of straight women.
85% of the abusive situations reported by the bisexual women were perpetrated by a male partner. Over half of these women also said that their personal and professional lives suffered after their attack, compared with just 33.5% of the lesbians and 28.2% of the straight women.
The head of the study, Mikel Walters, hopes that her findings will lead to more research and awareness about domestic abuse across all sexual orientation lines: "We hope that these findings will be used by policymakers and practitioners to expand services to everyone who experiences intimate partner violence."
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