According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 23% of LGBTQIA+ men and 50% of LGBTQIA+ women experience abuse from their intimate partners.
However, the abusive partner may also use tactics of power and control that reinforce complex societal factors and inequality, which may make it challenging for LGBTQIA+ individuals to seek help or leave the relationship. They might use discrimination, harmful stereotypes, or rejection to control.
According to UCLA Law School, Williams Institute, LGBTQIA+ people face barriers to seeking help that are unique to their sexual orientation and gender identity. These include:
- Legal definitions of domestic violence that exclude same-sex couples
- Dangers of “outing” oneself when seeking help and the risk of rejection and isolation from family, friends, and society
- The lack of, or survivors not knowing about, LGBTQIA+-specific or LGBTQIA+-friendly assistance resources
- Potential homophobia from staff of service providers or from non-LGBTQIA+ survivors of IPV and IPSA with whom they may interact
- Low levels of confidence in the sensitivity and effectiveness of law enforcement officials and courts for LGBTQIA+ individuals
You Deserve A Healthy Relationship!
Equality in Relationships
All healthy relationships are based in equality and respect. Relationships should provide you with a safe place to grow and develop as an individual self that complements each other’s lives. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics below. Hover over each description, to get more information about the characteristic.
Respecting Physical Space
Allowing your partner to be alone or with others as they please. Being respectful of their items, pets, and children. Touching them only in respectful ways and with appropriate consent.
Sexual Consent & Respect
Discussing safe sex and respecting each partner’s right to protection, respecting a partner's HIV & STD status and treatment, allowing them to say no to sex at any time and respecting their decision, and negotiating sex in a way that respects both partners. Pressuring or coercion to make a partner “give in” is not consent.
Speaking and acting in a way that allows one’s partner to feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves and interacting.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Empowerment
Supporting your partner’s identity and connections to the community, and allowing a partner to choose how and when to come out.
Sharing parenting responsibilities, being a positive non-violent role model for children, making parenting agreements together and fulfilling them, and being careful not to put children in the middle of arguments.
Supporting your partner in expression of their gender identity and connections to the community, validating their gender, allowing them to choose who to come out to and when. Using the proper pronouns and name correctly and with respect.
Making financial decisions together. Both partners benefit from economic security. Each partner is allowed to make their own purchases and both partners encourage each other’s career and educational growth.
Honesty, Accountability & Respect
Accepting responsibility for yourself, admitting when you are wrong, and communicating honestly and openly. Listening to your partner openly and without judgement, being emotionally understanding, and valuing one another’s opinions.
Empathy, compassion, and genuine concern for your partner. Some examples are being respectful of their feelings and saying positive things both in public or private settings.
Recognizing and respecting your partner's background, including: race, class, education, wealth, politics, ability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. This includes recognizing their needs and obligations as equally important to your own.
Trust & Support
Supporting a partner’s goals and respecting their right to their own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions. Being dependable, reliable, and keeping your word. Being open, engaging in only honest behaviors and respecting each other’s boundaries.
Negotiation & Shared Responsibility
Agreeing on a fair distribution of work, making family decisions together, seeking mutually agreeable resolution to conflicts, and being willing to compromise.
What Can I Do For Myself?
Abuse happens in all types of relationships. If you are being abused, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are some steps you can take to increase your safety and/or make leaving the abusive situation easier. If you need to talk to someone about it, help is available. Our 24-hour hotline number is 860.763.4542.