Victimization and Help-Seeking Experiences of LGBTQ+ Individuals

Published: January, 2019

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals are at increased risk for experiencing violence and the negative impacts associated with violence, including stress, PTSD symptoms and injury. LGBTQ+ victims are an underserved victim population in Illinois despite these increased risks. Individuals from underserved victim groups, such as people of color, those who identify as LGBTQ+, or those who are homeless are less likely to seek, access, or receive services following victimization. This article will explore how victimization and help-seeking experiences of LGBTQ+ victims in Illinois differ from those of non-LGBTQ+ victims, and how experiences may vary based on a victim’s LGB identity (i.e., lesbian/gay versus bisexual). It concludes with implications for policy and practice and suggestions for how to improve victim service delivery for LGBTQ+ victims and highlights areas for further research to inform how the state can better meet the needs of underserved victim populations.