Day 8: Let’s Talk About Intimate Partner Abuse in the LGBTQ Community

Intimate partner abuse is a pattern of behavior in which the thoughts, beliefs and conduct of an intimate partner are controlled through physical, emotional, sexual and/or economic violence.

It occurs in every community, including the LGBTQ community.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey published by Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds LGBTQ identified people experience intimate partner violence at rates similar to or higher than heterosexual people.

  • For example, 44% of lesbian women and 66% of bisexual women will experience intimate partner abuse during their lifetime in comparison to 35% of heterosexual women.
  • Rates of victimization for gay men and heterosexual men are similar, 26% and 29% respectively. For bisexual men, the rate of victimization is 37%.
  • According to the National Center for Anti-Violence Programs, transgender survivors of intimate partner violence were nearly twice as likely to experience physical abuse than cisgender survivors.
pandcwheel - lgbtq

Adapted from the Deluth Model of Power and Control. Click on the image to view or print a larger version.

Tactics of power and control used by abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships often make it more difficult for survivors to flee:

  • Outing the survivor’s sexual orientation or gender identity to family and employers.
  • Portraying the violence as mutual or consensual.
  • Denying a survivor’s gender identity and/or expression.

These threats and manipulations are compounded by a lack of community resources that understand and affirm LGBTQ identities and fear of further oppression due to intersecting identities, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

In this month’s issue of LinQ Magazine, Carol Taylor-Shim writes about the issue: “Our silence as a community around dating and domestic violence helps nurture the conditions needed for IPV [intimate partner violence] to thrive. The shame, guilt, and fear that consume survivors are burdens too heavy for anyone to bear.” Follow this link to read the complete article on page 10.

If you are being harmed by an intimate partner, our crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call us to safety plan, seek shelter, find a support group, and explore resources: 800-544-2022.

This post is part of our 17 Days/17 Ways campaign to take a stand against intimate partner abuse.

 

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