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CDC: Bisexual Women at Higher Risk of Intimate Partner Violence

Report finds intimate partner and sexual violence common regardless of sexual orientation

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Lesbians and gay men report lifetime levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) equivalent to or higher than those reported by heterosexuals, according to data released Jan. 25 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers with the CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey to estimate the prevalence of IPV, SV, and stalking by sexual orientation among lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, and to describe the violence they suffer at the hands of both same-sex and opposite-sex partners.

Along with finding that IPV and SV occurs as frequently or more often among lesbians and gay men as it does between heterosexual couples, the researchers found that women who identify as bisexual reported more rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner (61.1 percent) than did lesbians (43.8 percent) or heterosexual women (35 percent). In addition, of the women who reported experiencing sexual violence, most reported that they were victimized by male perpetrators.

"We know that violence affects everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. This report suggests that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner," CDC director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "While intervening and providing services are important, prevention is equally critical."

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