The desire for close, intimate relationships (emotional, physical, or sexual) is a part of the human condition. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning (LGBTIQQ), Two Spirit, Same Gender Loving, or Asexual face unique challenges to creating and sustaining relationships. Coming out to self is sometimes a lonely and painful exploration process, coming out to others does not always go smoothly, it can be challenging to find community or potential partners, differences in degree of 'outness' can result in conflict, and there are minimal if any institutional supports for relationships. As a result of this societal marginalization, people often do not have sufficient awareness, knowledge, and skills required to create and sustain healthy romantic relationships.
Rothman, Exner, & Baughman (2011) conducted a systematic review of 75 studies that examined the prevalence of sexual assault victimization among gay or bisexual men (GB), and lesbian or bisexual women (LB) in the United States. They reported that the prevalence of intimate partner sexual assault (IPSA) for males ranged from 9.5% to 57.0% (median 12.1%) and from 2.0% to 45.0% for females (median 12.6%). In a random sample of 1,028 college students Porter and Williams (2011) found that as compared to their heterosexual counterparts, those who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or other in terms of sexual orientation were four times as likely to report rape; five times as likely to experience sexual abuse; twice as likely to report psychological abuse; and three times as likely to report physical abuse by a partner.
In response to the prevalence of relationship and interpersonal violence, staff from the LGBTQ Center and Counseling and Wellness Services at UNC-Chapel Hill have developed a Healthy Relationships and Interpersonal Violence Prevention curriculum and program. While the information is applicable to people of all sexual orientations, the curriculum is centered on the experiences of LGBTIQQ communities.
This curriculum began as a two-hour workshop developed and led by the Director of UNC-Chapel Hill's LGBTQ Center, Dr. Terri Phoenix. As the program developed, additional content was added and Carolina students were recruited and trained to facilitate a three-session workshop for Carolina students interested in learning how to create and sustain healthy relationships. This workshop content was then adapted into online modules to allow participants access to the information at a convenient time and location at any point during the year.
While the information is applicable to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, these modules are centered on the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Trans*, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Two Spirit, and Same Gender Loving communities. This course explores the unique challenges faced by people who are involved in same-sex relationships or where one or more person(s) identifies as transgender. Relationships can take many forms, as discussed in section one of this module.
By completing all five (5) modules, we hope that you will increase your:
• knowledge of characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships,
• awareness of the characteristics you desire in a relationship or partner,
• knowledge of conflict resolution skills,
• awareness about interpersonal violence, and
• knowledge of bystander and ally skills
These modules have been developed as a collaboration between the LGBTQ Center and Student Wellness at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thanks to Student Government's Student Safety and Security Committee for funding the development of the modules in Spring 2013.
To log in, the module asks for your first name, last initial, and email address. If you chose to log in with your email address, you may leave the training at any time and return at your convenience. The module will remember where you left off. If you entered as a "guest" and do not provide your name or email, your content will not be saved and you will not have the opportunity to complete the assessments.
To access the module, please click here.