LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence

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No matter the gender of either party in a relationship, many dynamics of abuse are the same. An abusive relationship is fueled by the desire of the abuser to have power and control over their partner. The abuser uses different types of abuse, including: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and spiritual.

Here are some concerns that are particular to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) community:

  • Abuser may threaten to out the survivor’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status as a control tactic.
  • Survivor may try to protect their community by hiding abuse, for fear that it will be used to condemn all non-hetero relationships as abnormal or unhealthy.
  • For someone who is closeted, accessing services or calling police means they must make the difficult decision to out themselves.
  • Survivors risk that they will be confronted with prejudice at a time when they are very vulnerable and need understanding.
  • LGBTQ violence is surrounded by myths (i.e. same-sex battering is mutual, women are never violent, or victims like the abuse).
  • It may be hard to remain anonymous in the LGBTQ community and survivors may worry about how people would react, and if friends would choose sides.
  • When straight individuals are in abusive relationships no one claims that all straight relationships are dysfunctional and unhealthy, but those in the LGBTQ community know all too well that any problems within same-sex relationships can be used as a condemnation of all same-sex relationships.
  • An abuser may tell their partner that no one else would love them or treat them any better. A survivor who has internalized homophobic or transphobic beliefs may think this is true.