Without a doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. The pandemic has changed the way we work, how we live, kept us in isolation and often plunged us into financial hardship.
With international travel restrictions, study abroad programs suspended and stay at home orders, we have seen less LGBTQ sexual assault victims needing assistance than average in 2020.
We expect 2021 to be the opposite. A surge of Americans sexually assaulted abroad is unfortunately a reality as covid vaccines open up lock downs and international travel resumes. Sexual predators that have been isolated and have not had the opportunity to seek out victims will be ready, seeking out opportunity.
We hope we are wrong, but most organizations providing services to sexual assault victims, and special need populations like the LGBTQ community members, are anticipating similar increases. We hope you will consider another donation before the end of the year to provide funds to meet the coming demand for our services in 2021. And if not, we understand. This year has been hard on everyone.
Thank you and we wish you and your families happiness, health and prosperity as we enter a New Year.
Salisha has been living and working in the UK for a couple of years. She has a close group of friends and comes back to the USA to visit her parents a couple of times per year.
She hasn't been able to come home because of covid travel restrictions and fear of infecting her parents. Salisha met a woman she really liked as a friend. They hung out at each others homes, got take away and watched movies.
One night, the woman began making sexual advances to Salisha. Salisha told her she wasn't interested but the woman would not stop.
She forced herself on top of Salisha on the couch. Salisha fought her off but it wasnt easy. Eventually the woman gave up and left.
Salisha emailed Pathways and was very distraught about the assault. We were able to find resources for her, provided emotional support and safety planning in case the woman returned. Salisha did not feel she needed medical attention but felt sore and bruised. She decided not to take any law enforcement or legal action.
Salisha is thankful that Pathways was available to help her after the attack. Without donors like you we would not be able to offer victims like Salisha support.
Marina started emailing us for help last month. While she was traveling abroad earlier this year she was attacked and sexually assaulted by a man. At the time she just wanted to come home and forget it ever happened.
As time has gone by she has become more and more distraught. Marina has been experiencing nightmares, anxiety and thoughts of self-harm.
Our Pathways' advocate continues to provide emotional support to Marina and has connected her to a support group in her city.
Without your donations we would not be able to provide critical help to LGBTQ victims assaulted abroad.
Trishana was working in Portugal. She loved her job and the Algarve lifestyle. A man at her work became interested in Trishana. She was upfront with him and told him she identified as LGBTQ but she liked him as a friend.
One night, after going out with a group of coworkers for dinner and drinks, he offered to walk Trishana home. At her apartment he asked if he could come in and use her bathroom.
Trishana was sitting on her sofa when he came out of the bathroom. He forced himself on top of her and overpowered her. She started to fight and she screamed. That's when he started to strangle her and told her to be quiet. She froze in fear for her life.
He finished, mocked her and left. Trishana was devatated. She contacted Pathways. She didn't want anyone to know, she didn't want to call the police and she didn't want to prosecute. Trishana just wanted to come home.
We helped Trishana with emotional support, navigate through quitting her job, arranging a flight home in the midst of covid-19 travel restrictions and connected her to a rape crisis center in her home town.
Trishana is receiving counseling and is grateful to donors like you for caring about LGBTQ victims abroad. We are too! Thank you! The Pathways' Team.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ traveling abroad are often targeted by predators. Nico had met a man while traveling abroad over the holidays. They went out to dinner. When the man invited Nico back to his apartment for a drink, Nico declined. The man then offered to walk Nico back to his hotel. Nico accepted. They had a drink together in the lobby of Nico's hotel. That is the last thing Nico remembered before waking up in his hotel bedroom, alone and naked.
He knew he had been sexually assaulted. He emailed Pathways' and an advocate was able to guide Nico through his options as a victim of sexual assault.
Nico is very thankful for the information he received and he was able to get the necessary medical attention he needed.
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