Myths & Facts
Myth: Domestic violence in the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community is less common than domestic violence in heterosexual relationships.
Fact: Domestic violence occurs at the same rate in the LGBTQ community as it does in the heterosexual community. We hear about it less frequently because LGBTQ individuals make up a smaller percentage of the population.
Myth: Domestic violence within the LGBTQ community is less dangerous or less serious because the partners are the same gender. Relationships between two men or two women are more equal.
Fact: Domestic violence is about power and control, not physical strength. Power and control can include physical violence, but most often it involves emotional, psychological, and economic abuse. Abuse within the LGBTQ community is just as serious as abuse in the heterosexual community.
Special Considerations for the LGBTQ Community
Abuse within the LGBTQ community is not any more or less common, however some of the tactics an abuser will use may look different for LGBTQ partners. For example, if someone is not fully open about his or her sexuality, an abuser may threaten to "out" that person if he or she leaves.
In addition, it may be especially challenging for an LGBTQ person to receive services.
Coming forward about the abuse means coming out about one's sexual orientation, and that may be difficult or unsafe for the individual.
The victim may be part of a small LGBTQ community and fear that "everyone" will know about his or her abuse. Some service providers have a bias against LGBTQ folk, making it difficult to access resources safely. Domestic violence hurts people in all kinds of relationships. Safe Voices is committed to providing a safe space for LGBTQ individuals to find support and safety. For more information about abuse within the LGBTQ community, call Safe Voices' 24 hour helpline (1-800-559-2927) or visit LAMBDA's domestic violence resource page here: http://www.lambda.org/DV_background.htm.
LGBTQ Control Wheel
Here is the LGBTQ Control Wheel.