June is Pride Month which honors the work to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for those who identify as LGBTQ+.
The majority of the domestic violence awareness movement has focused on heterosexual relationships, but domestic violence can occur amongst those that identify as LGBTQ+. In fact, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study (NISVS), 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation, found that those who identified as either lesbian or gay reported domestic violence and sexual violence rates which were equal to or higher than study participants who identified as heterosexual.
Additionally, the survey also found that bisexual women report a higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner compared to both lesbian and heterosexual women and bisexual men report a higher prevalence of rape physical violence, and or stalking than gay or heterosexual men.
Studies such as the National Transgender Discrimination Survey and the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey have found that people who are transgender experience disproportionate rates of violence, particularly trans people of color.
Domestic violence within the LGBTQ+ community is unique compared to other communities. Abusive partners utilize tactics of abuse that are specific to people who identify as LGBTQ+ and their relationships including (but not limited to):
- Controlling and/or questioning the victim’s gender identity or gender expression. For example, by refusing to allow them to dress in clothes and wear or use gender affirming devices such as binders and gaffers. They may also refuse to use the victim’s pronouns, and/or refuse to use their chosen name.
- Questioning or not believing the victim’s sexual orientation. For example, telling them that they’re really just gay, not bisexual. Or, that pansexuality doesn’t exist.
- Calling their partner names that are homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic like “freak” or telling them that they’re not “gay enough” or “trans enough.”
- Pressuring a victim to come out or threatening to out the victim to family, doctors, friends, employers, etc.
- Withholding hormones like testosterone injections.
- Forcing the victim to speak to priests and other faith leaders to “cure” them of their homosexuality/bisexuality/transness, etc.
- For more information about these specific abusive behaviors, please check out this Power and Control Wheel by loveisrespect here.
As we advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence, let's make sure everyone's voice is heard and bring awareness to those in need and ensuring they have access to the appropriate resources. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and/or sexual violence please contact The Haven's 24/7 hotline at 800-224-2836.