Same-Sex Domestic Violence: Harder to Get Help
Friday, December 5, 2008 11:15 AM

U.S. media sources report that experts believe that domestic violence is especially underreported in same-sex couples. An article published in the North Carolina Winston-Salem Journal explains the challenges that same-sex couples face if one is a victim of intimate partner violence. The article, written by Michael Hewlett, reports that people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) often avoid reporting domestic violence. Hewlett explains that they often fear the consequences of revealing their sexual orientation to law enforcement or government officials. Also, those who suffer abuse in same-sex relationships must contend with barriers to care and support. Hewlett notes that many shelters are for women and children only, so male victims often have nowhere to go.

In 2006, 3,534 domestic violence incidents against GLBT people were reported in the U.S. However, studies show that same-sex domestic violence occurs at the same rate as heterosexual partner violence, according to April Burgess-Johnson, the director of outreach and prevention for the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The article reports that some support centers, prosecutors and judges are trying to address these shortcomings.

To read the full article, click here.

Compiled from: Hewlett, Michael, “Same-sex Domestic Violence: Harder to Get Help”, Winston-Salem Journal, 18 September 2008.