A UW-Madison study analyzing victimization found that lesbians, gays and bisexuals face higher rates of threats and assaults than heterosexuals.
The university announced LGB individuals are threatened and assaulted more often than heterosexuals by perpetrators who target them based on their identity, citing an analysis conducted by Professor Janet Hyde and graduate student Sabra Katz-Wise.
Even though society has become more accepting of different sexual orientations, Hyde and Katz-Wise found that threats and assaults on LGB individuals has increased between 1992 and 2009.
Of the 138 LGB individuals studied, 55 percent experienced verbal abuse and 41 percent encountered discrimination.
The study included violence that occurs not only outside the home but inside as well.
“Some families are not pleased to know they have a gay son or lesbian daughter, so the person suffers verbal and sometimes physical abuse,” Hyde said.
One issue with crime statistics, according to Hyde, is the number that go unreported.
Jayne Jones, a peer facilitator with the student group Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, said LGB individuals face additional barriers when reporting assaults.
“A lot of victims of any sort of assault or abuse in the [LGB] community might feel kind of marginalized or that their experiences are minimalized and may not be considered real,” Jones said.