Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people experience domestic abuse at the same rate as heterosexual women.
Domestic violence – it’s something that can affect anyone. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people do experience domestic abuse, but the reality of LGBTQ relationship violence is rarely discussed. LGBTQ people can be reluctant to seek help from the police for fear of homophobic or transphobic treatment, and may be unable to turn to family or friends for support if they are not ‘out’ about their sexuality. This can leave LGBTQ people who suffer from domestic violence especially isolated and at risk of further abuse.
About 25% of LGBTQ people suffer through violent or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners – about the same rate as heterosexual women. Sometimes the abuse looks similar to that experienced by heterosexual women: emotional bullying, physical aggression, threats to harm the victim or other loved ones, social isolation, control of finances, extreme jealousy. There are additional features that can be present in LGBTQ intimate partner violence that do not factor into heterosexual relationships. The abuser may threaten to ‘out’ the victim to friends, family, religious communities, co-workers, and others if he or she does not comply with the abuser’s wishes. The abuser may use the close-knit dynamic of the gay and lesbian community and the lack of support for LGBTQ people outside the community to further pressure the victim into compliance.
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