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Biphobia is Real…and Really Hurtful: Part 2

By Heather, an advocate. This is part two of a two-part series. This post is for partners, friends and parents of bi+ folks. Read the first post for bi+ folks here!

There are a lot of harmful myths out there about bisexual people and bisexuality. If you love someone who identifies as bisexual, (or pan- or polysexual, hetero- or homoflexible, or Queer & non-monosexual), here are a few examples of the hurtful things they’ve probably heard at some point:

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7 Ways to Lovingly Support Your Gender Non-Binary Partner

by Sam Dylan Finch. Originally posted on Everyday Feminism.

I still remember the moment I came out as genderqueer to my then-partner. I was finally sharing a deep and important truth about myself: I was ready to transition and was overjoyed at the prospect of having my partner by my side.

But for him, my transition was threatening.

“I just wouldn’t find you attractive anymore,” he told me.

That was all he would say about the matter. My heart broke that day.

While his sexual preferences are his prerogative, he had failed to be supportive. That made me afraid to transition. I was afraid of being abandoned, afraid that I could not be loved as I was.

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We Support All Survivors

By Tatsumi Romano, loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board member 

[Trigger Warning: rape and sexual assault]

By now you’ve probably heard that Brock Turner, a former Stanford athlete, was found guilty for three counts of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus on the night of January 17, 2015. Two students passing by tried to help the victim and had to tackle Turner to the ground as he attempted to run away from the scene. Despite the traumatizing assault of a woman who could do nothing to defend herself, Turner received a shockingly light sentence of six months in county jail, with the possibility of release after three months based on good behavior.

How’d they do it? How did Turner’s defense team manage to score such a light sentence for their Ivy League client?

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“Can I Save Them?”

This post was contributed by Kim, a loveisrespect advocate

“If I stay, I can save him.”

“If she loves me, she’ll change.”

“I need to save them from that relationship!”

Here at loveisrespect, we know there are many reasons why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. One common reason is wanting to help the abusive partner change, or believing you are the only one who can change them. Sometimes, family or friends may also feel this way towards a victim of abuse: like they’re the only people who can help. While it’s totally normal to want to help someone you love, there is no way to ‘save’ or ‘fix’ another person. Ultimately, all we can control are our own actions and attitudes. So, while we can offer our support, it is up to the individual to take the next step in the situation.

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Guys Can Be Victims, Too

At loveisrespect, we know dating abuse can happen to anyone – including guys. One in 10 men has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, but unfortunately that’s a fact a lot of people aren’t really aware of. Although people who identify as male make up a smaller percentage of callers to loveisrespect, we know there are likely many more who do not seek help for their abuse. So why the silence? Here are a few of the common misconceptions and stereotypes that can make it tough for guys who are experiencing abuse:

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Someone I Know is Being Abused. Should I Call the Police?

This post was contributed by Alexander, an advocate at The Hotline/loveisrespect

Here at loveisrespect, we have conversations with family members, friends, coworkers, classmates and caring neighbors about what to do when someone they know is being abused. Knowing that someone in your life is being hurt is really tough, and it’s normal to feel unsure about how to best approach this challenging situation. Many people feel like calling the police can be a way to help. In a moment of a crisis, it’s natural to want to reach out for support from local law enforcement; however, you may be surprised to hear that it’s not always the best response for someone in an abusive relationship. Let’s look at a few perspectives to figure out what the safest course of action could be to help support a person that you’re concerned about.

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On Campus: Voices Against Violence & BeVocal

Think of a time when you saw or heard of something that seemed problematic or harmful, whether or not you did something.

That was the first question a room full of people were prompted with last Tuesday at the University of Texas at Austin’s Interpersonal Violence Committee meeting, hosted by the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center’s Voices Against Violence program. The committee meets once a semester to share resources, ideas and connect on interpersonal violence prevention and response. While usually open only to UT Austin community members, they made an awesome exception for loveisrespect and we had the privilege of sitting in on the meeting.

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Campus Safety Awareness Month

If you’re heading off to college this fall, you’re probably feeling super excited and staying busy figuring out your schedule, getting your books, and settling into student housing.

While college can be a lot of fun (and you also get to learn cool stuff!), it’s important to remember that there are risks involved. One in five women are sexually assaulted or raped on college campuses in the U.S., and one in three teens is the victim of dating abuse.

All of us at loveisrespect definitely want you to know how to stay safe and help others stay safe, too. September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, so all month long groups and organizations around the country are calling attention to issues of student safety on college and university campuses.

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