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Sexual Orientation–Based Violence: United States

Sexual orientation–based violence against lesbians and bisexual women is perpetrated on interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels. The pervasiveness of violence targeting lesbians and bisexual women reflects the ideological nature of hate-based violence more generally. In expressions of hate violence or discrimination, the perpetrator targets members of marginalized communities in order to uphold their interpretations of social norms. Lesbians and bisexual women have traditionally been positioned as a threat to heterosexuality, a cornerstone of traditional society. This leaves them personally open to harm and with less access to prevention efforts or direct services meant to address violence in mainstream situations.

Mainstream society's normalization of heterosexuality has required that any other form of sexual orientation be labeled as different and less than. Cultural institutions responsible for reproducing heterosexuality ...

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