How is domestic violence different in LBGTIQ relationships?

How is domestic violence different in LBGTIQ relationships?

  • Those who have been abused may have much more difficulty finding sources of support.
  • The myth still exists that abuse in same-gender relationships must be "mutual." Few people assume that heterosexual battering is mutual.
  • Utilizing existing services (such as a shelter, attending support groups, or calling a crisis line) may mean lying about the gender of the batterer to gain acceptance as a heterosexual or "coming out," which is a major life decision. Coming out to service providers who are not discreet with this information could lead to losing homes, jobs, custody of children, and so on, depending on local and statewide laws, which vary.
  • Speaking out about battering in LGBTIQ relationships can reinforce the myth that these relationships are "sick."
  • Many LGBTIQ communities don't want to talk about battering, because many want to maintain that there are no problems in LGBTIQ relationships.
  • Those who are or have been abused may not know others who are LBGTIQ, meaning that leaving the abuser could mean total isolation. Batterers may use the claim that they "don't want to out someone" as way to isolate their partner. Abusive partners may also threaten to out their partner if they ever try to leave the relationship.
  • If partners are financially intertwined, they have no legal process to assist in making sure assets are evenly divided, a process which exists for married heterosexual partners.
  • LGBTIQ communities are often assumed to be small; hence survivors assume that everyone will soon know about the abuse.
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