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Violence Just as Prevalent in LGBTQ Relationships

No group seems to escape domestic violence

  • November 17, 2014
  • By domesticshelters.org
Violence Just as Prevalent in LGBTQ Relationships

You often hear of domestic violence as it occurs in a heterosexual relationship, but statistics show that abuse occurs in the same frequency and severity among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) communities.

According to the  National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, two out of every five gay and bisexual men experience abusive partner relationships, comparable to number of heterosexual women who endure domestic violence. The Coalition also found that 50 percent of lesbian women have experienced or will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. In a survey of one year’s time, 44 percent of victims of LBGTQ domestic violence identified as men while 36 percent identified as women.[1]

Unfortunately, violence in LGBTQ relationships is immensely underreported, unacknowledged or reported as something other than domestic violence due to fear of homophobia, transphobia or sexism.

Anna Marjavi, program manager with Futures Without Violence, a national nonprofit aimed at advocacy to end violence against women, says LGBTQ domestic violence survivors often encounter barriers to finding help. “They may not be in an ‘out’ relationship. Their partner may even be threatening to out them. In rural and smaller communities, there may not be LGBTQ-specific programs to help them.” 

Marjavi says that many LGBTQ individuals may also feel shame because their sexuality is not accepted or supported by the community. She says these LGBTQ abuse survivors feeling this way should look outside their immediate area, town or community to find accepting programs around the country. You can search for programs serving the LBGTQ using the advanced search page on domesticshelters.org. Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for help, or just to find someone to listen.

“A lot of times, it’s more about listening and breaking that sense of isolation that people feel. They should just know they’re not alone. There’s lots of people in similar situations,” says Marjavi. Below, a few examples of LGBTQ-specific groups that survivors can reach out to:

[1] http://www.uncfsp.org/projects/userfiles/File/DCE-STOP_NOW/NCADV_LGBT_Fact_Sheet.pdf