LGBT Communities and Domestic Violence
Monday, January 14, 2008 11:33 AM

Despite the fact that domestic violence is as prevalent and lethal in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (herinafter "LGBT") relationships, fewer statistics, studies, protections and services are available to LGBT victims of domestic violence than are available to heterosexual victims of domestic violence. 

In an important report addressing this issue, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has detailed information and resources about LGBT Communities and Domestic Violence.  The report addresses key issues, provides statistics, a fact sheet, and various resources on the subject.  The key issues include:

  • Use of Language/Vocabulary
  • The Intersection of Sexism and Homophobia
  • Dynamics of Domestic Violence
  • Intervention/Prevention Services

The authors conclude that "with little or no legal recognition for their intimate relationships, few domestic violence laws offer specific protection to people who are LGBT."  In addition, the authors note that while many of the concerns and barriers that heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans individuals face are similar, there are also critical differences including: 

  • A "greater depth of isolation a victim/survivor can feel when the abuse is disclosed because the community is so small, especially if those in the community side with the abuser."
  • An "increased likelihood that the victim will not be believed because of the myths that women do not perpetrate violence and that men engage only in mutual combat."

These challenges as well as the additional threats of "outing" a partner to family, friends, employers and the community as well as the "rate of abuse among urban gay men in intimate relationships," make understanding, addressing, and developing protections and services for LGBT victims of domestic violence a particularly pressing issue.

For the full report, click here.

“This material was reprinted/adapted from the publication titled Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Communities and Domestic Violence: Information and Resources (2007) by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.”

Published InLGBT Communities and Domestic Violence, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 2007 December.