What forms of abuse are unique to asexual victims?
Asexual victims of abuse may face specific forms of abuse because they are asexual. In addition to “traditional” forms of abuse and the abuse described in What forms of abuse are unique to LGBTQ victims?, asexual people are vulnerable to abuse based on their lack of sexual attraction or desire. Here are some of the behaviors abusers may use to gain power and control over asexual victims:
- saying there is something “wrong” with the victim or that the victim is “broken” because they are asexual;
- telling the victim that something is “wrong” with their body, and that is why they are asexual;
- mocking the victim’s body or making the victim feel bad about their body responding or not responding to sexual acts;
- touching the victim’s body without permission or in a way the abuser knows makes the victim uncomfortable;
- threatening the victim with rape or sexual assault to “cure” the victim’s asexuality;
- telling the victim that they are asexual or are confused about being asexual because no one wants to have a relationship or sex with them;
- threatening to tell the victim’s friends, family, or coworkers about their asexuality without their permission; and
- stopping or forbidding the victim from speaking to other asexual people, talking about asexuality, or attending in-person or online support groups for asexual people.1
For more information on domestic abuse and sexual violence toward asexual people, please see Resources for Ace Survivors.
1 This information has been adapted from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition’s and OUTreach Resource Center’s brochure, “Asexual People and Intimate Partner Violence,” with additional information from The Huffington Post’s “Battling Asexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence And ‘Corrective’ Rape.”