Domestic abuse can affect anyone — regardless of your relationship make-up. Abuse and violence happen to nearly 25 percent of LGBTQ+ people—about the same rate as heterosexual women. However, it’s a reality that’s rarely discussed and even more rarely reported. This could be because LGBTQ+ people fear that if they ask for help, they might have to deal with homophobic, biphobic or transphobic reactions from police or other officials. And, LGBTQ+ people who haven’t come “out” to friends or family members often feel it’s riskier to confide in someone than to just put up with the abuse.
LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. The “+” signifies that one acronym can’t capture everyone’s experience of their gender identity or expression and/or sexual orientation. Sometimes the “Q” is also associated with Questioning or the idea that not everyone is in a place where they feel comfortable identifying as a specific label. “Queer” is a word that historically has been used as a slur or insult against gay men and women. In recent years, it has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community to be an umbrella term for someone who is not heterosexual and/or cisgender.
Abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships can differ from abuse in heterosexual relationships. The abusive person may specifically attack their partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Partners for Peace advocates are trained to provide services to any victim of abuse or violence. We do not discriminate based on someone’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or age in the delivery of our services.
In fact, many of our advocates have received special training in working with LGBTQ+ victims/survivors of abuse.
If someone is abusing you, we encourage you to talk to us about what’s happening and to explore some options. Our free, confidential helpline number is 1.800.863.9909. Give us a call. We believe you deserve to live and love with joy and respect, and we want to help.
If you’re not sure your situation is abusive, here are some questions that might help you think things through. If any one of these behaviors is part of your life, you are probably being abused.
Does your partner often:
- Put you down or call you derogatory names?
- Humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
- Threaten to hurt you or people you care about?
- Threaten to hurt him or herself if you leave or don’t give in and do what he or she wants?
- Become extremely jealous, even about time you spend with family?
- Keep you from seeing friends, family, or people in your LGBTQ+ community?
- Attempt to control what you wear, eat, say, where you go, what you do?
- Accuse you of flirting or being unfaithful without cause?
- Threaten to “out” you?
- Threaten to infect you with an STD or other illness?
- Physically attack you—like push, hit, restrain, grab, or choke you?
- Pressure you to do sexual things you aren’t comfortable with?
- Steal your money or try to control your bank account?
- Try to keep you from working, going to school, or pursuing other activities that encourage your independence?
- Blame you for his or her behavior?
Domestic abuse is always about power and control. If someone is abusing you, please call our helpline today at 1.800.863.9909.