If you are bisexual or gay in Utah, you face a significantly higher risk of experiencing sexual violence than someone who is straight.

That’s one of several key findings from a newly released Utah Department of Health (UDOH) survey of about 10,000 Utah adults conducted in 2016, asking, among other questions, whether respondents had ever been raped or if someone had ever attempted to rape them.

One in 10 adults in the state — both men and women — said they had experienced sexual violence at least once, according to the report. The rate was considerably higher — 1 in 6 — for women.

Close to half of bisexual people and a third of lesbian or gay people surveyed reported experiencing sexual violence at some time in their life, compared to less than 9 percent for those who identify as straight, the report said.

Those results, despite being based on a relatively small sample size, are similar to previous national and state poll findings that sexual minorities are more likely to have been raped or faced an attempted rape, said Deanna Ferrell, a state Health Department violence and injury epidemiologist.

Sexual violence in Utah

The Utah Department of Health surveyed about 10,000 Utah adults about whether they had experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes. Here are their findings, broken down by demographic group.

Overall Male Female Annual household income less than $25,000 Married Divorced Separated Employed Unemployed Straight Lesbian or gay Bisexual

Source: 2016 Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey on sexual violence. Respondents 18 and over.

Other vulnerable groups appeared to be at greater risk of sexual violence as well, according to the survey, such as unemployed Utahns and those living in households earning less than $25,000 a year.

The data reinforce the common view of sexual violence prevention and response professionals, according to Turner Bitton, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“Sexual violence is rooted in the inequities of our society and disproportionately hurts those who have been pushed to the margins,” Bitton said in a written statement. The results, he said, speak to a need for “culturally specific prevention programming” in the state.

“Utah communities are counting on us to ensure that everyone is included in prevention efforts,” said Bitton.

The findings also revealed that those coping with sexual violence reported higher rates of negative health outcomes and addictive behaviors, such as smoking, binge drinking and general poor physical health.

They were more than twice as likely to have experienced more than a week of poor mental health in the previous month and more frequently said they had a tough time remembering or concentrating.

Many of the questionnaire’s results — including a correlation between suffering sexual violence and having gone through traumatic experiences as a child — align closely with another recent UDOH report focused on physical domestic violence by partners.

Sexual violence affects health outcomes

A Utah Department of Health survey found those who had experienced sexual violence before also had higher rates of other health problems.

Every day smoker Binge drinker Poor health 7+ poor mental health days 7+ poor physical health days Difficulty doing errands alone Difficulty concentrating or remembering

Source: 2016 Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey on sexual violence. Respondents 18 and over.

And like the partner violence survey, Ferrell said, the sexual violence survey probably underestimates the true extent of the problem in Utah because of a hesitancy to answer such sensitive personal questions.

The 2016 DOH survey was the first time Utah health officials included male respondents in a sexual violence poll: “We’re beginning to acknowledge that men are also victims of sexual violence,” she said.

The department plans to include sexual violence questions in its statewide health survey every two years to begin tracking trends on the problem. The next poll will be available in 2020.

More than half the adults who reported experiencing sexual violence said they could also recall four or more traumatic childhood experiences, such as sexual or physical abuse, someone using drugs in the home or a divorce.

Meanwhile, only about 5 percent of those who said they had experienced sexual violence also reported they had never experienced a traumatic childhood episode.

Sexual violence takes an estimated $4.9 billion annual financial toll on Utah, according to a study of the state’s 2011 sexual violence numbers. That includes costs for medical care, mental health care, lost work, property damage, pregnancy, suicides and police investigations.

Those who need help may call the Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 1-888-421-1100 or the Domestic Violence Link Line at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).