LGBTQ Dating Violence
Research estimates that 25% to 33% of LGBT relationships are abusive (the same percentage as in straight relationships).
Abusive LGBT relationships have the same dynamics of power and control as straight relationships, but frequently go undetected and unreported. Because of this, abuse in LGBT relationships can seem like a hidden problem. Attitudes like "women don't hurt each other" or "a fight between two men is a fair fight" can keep people from recognizing abuse. Some abusers threaten to "out" the victim to parents, friends or employers. A victim may be afraid to get help, worried that the police and counseling services will be homophobic and insensitive.
Specific barriers to the LGBTQ community
- Homophobia (the fear or hatred of lesbian and gay men) is as rampant within the domestic violence agencies as it is in the general public.
- We are taught to believe that LGBTQ persons somehow deserve the oppression and discrimination they receive from society.
- Lesbian and gay victims are beaten by their lovers and then re-victimized by society.
- The idea of “mutual battering” -- this myth greatly minimizes same-sex violence and was designed to prevent battered lesbian and gay men from asking for and receiving services.
- LGBTQ population fear hostile responses from local and state police, courts, shelters, therapists and doctors – this is especially terrifying for those who need to remain in the closet.
- The intense isolation that comes with abusive relationships is deepened with the added isolation that many in the LGBTQ community experience in the “coming out” process.
- Society in general does not consider same-sex violence as being as serious as men beating women. This causes a huge problem with local police, courts, agencies.
Most LGBTQ victims feel as though they are in a “double-closet” of shame. First, being the anxiety of expressing their sexual orientation to a complete – straight - stranger. Second, the humiliation of admitting being abused by someone you love.
It is shame – wrapped around shame – surrounded by another form of shame…
THERE IS HELP, THERE IS HOPE
The information supplied by this website is not to be considered legal or medical advice. The website is strictly for informational purposes only.