Sexual assault affects many members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many Maine organizations work to serve the needs of LGBTQ+ survivors.
Resources in Maine for LGBTQ+ Sexual Assault Survivors
If you have been affected by sexual violence, you can contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) by calling the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 1-800-871-7741.
MECASA also has resources for LGBTQ+ survivors. These organizations serve many parts of Maine. MECASA will connect you with resources based on your specific needs. If you need legal help, they may be able to refer you to resources like Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
Sometimes survivors are worried that their sexual orientation or gender identity will be outed if they seek help. Other survivors might be worried that their experiences will not be taken seriously because of their identity. LGBTQ+ individuals might be afraid that officials, systems, or community members will not respect them.
These concerns are common among LGBTQ+ survivors. You are not alone.
There are resources who can and will help LGBTQ+ survivors of abuse. Pine Tree Legal Assistance serves LGBTQ+ clients with respect and attention to your specific experiences.
If you have been affected by sexual violence, you can contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA). They will connect you with resources based on your needs. This could include PTLA, if you need legal help. You can also call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 1-800-871-7741.
What Civil Legal Action Can I Take?
If you have been abused, there are some civil legal steps you could take. This is different from a criminal court case.
Many people get Protection from Abuse or Protection from Harassment Orders. These court orders can help protect you from a dating partner, family or household member, or stalker. Protection from Abuse Orders can also protect you if someone is distributing private images of you.
- Learn more about PFA or PFH orders for survivors of sexual assault
- Learn more about Protection from Abuse Orders in general
If you have been abused by a spouse or the other parent of a shared child, you may want to consider Divorce or Parental Rights and Responsibilities. A Divorce Order can help set personal and financial boundaries when you are no longer married. This process may bring some closure, allowing survivors to move on from the former relationship.
A Parental Rights and Responsibilities order can legally decide who your kids live with or visit. It can also decide which parent gets to make big decisions about the children’s lives. Many survivors of sexual violence or domestic abuse find it helpful to have this structure outlined officially through the court.
- Learn more about Divorce and Parental Rights and Responsibilities in our step-by-step guide
- For more information about LGBTQ+ family law issues in general, read our LGBTQ Family Law Guide
Sexual violence can affect many parts of a survivor's life. Sexual assault might change your:
- housing needs
- ability to learn at school, or
- immigration process
You may be able to get legal help with these issues. If you need help with housing or other legal concerns in Maine, contact Pine Tree Legal Assistance or a local sexual assault agency. You can also call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 1-800-871-7741.