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No matter who you are
All too often LGBTQ folks are invisible victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Support and advocacy is provided to LGBTQ folks of all genders who are surviving abuse.
The signs and symptoms of abuse within LGBTQAI relationships are similar to those seen in heterosexual relationships. They may include physical violence, sexual assault, financial abuse, and emotional and/or psychological abuse.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation special report outlines that the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking is as follows:
· 43.8% lesbian women
· 61.1 % bisexual women
· 26% gay men
· 37.3% bisexual men
Intimate partner violence happens no matter of ones’ gender or sexuality. The signs and symptoms of abuse within LGBTQ relationships are similar to those seen in heterosexual relationships. They may include physical violence, sexual assault, financial abuse, and emotional and/or psychological abuse.
And, abuse in same sex relationships can have some of these behaviors:
- Threatening to “out” your sexual orientation or gender identity to family members, employers, community members and others.
- Making you feel unworthy of love and support because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Threatening to reveal your HIV/AIDS status to family members, employers, community members and others.
- Makes you feel like you’re not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender because of your relationship history.
- Makes you feel that you’re not the gender you identify with or purposefully misgenders you.
- Makes you feel like you’re not a “real” man or woman.
- Justifies the abuse as being consensual, mutual or an expression of a “desirable” trait, such as masculinity.
It doesn't simply go away
What can I do?
If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out.
- Stay safe. Make a plan for you, your children, and pets.
- Seek the support of caring people. Tell someone you trust about the abuse. They may be your friend, a family member, a neighbor, a co-worker, or staff members of support agencies. Talk to them in a private, safe place. You do not need to face abuse alone.
- If you have a protection order, keep it with you at all times.
- Document abusive incidents.
- Contact DOVE or another domestic violence agency.
Know this about people with abusive behaviors. Abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims.
Abusers pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t insult, threaten, or assault everyone in their life who gives them grief. Usually, they save their abuse for the people closest to them, the ones they claim to love.
Abusers carefully choose when and where to abuse. They control themselves until no one else is around to see their abusive behavior. They may act like everything is fine in public, but lash out instantly as soon as you’re alone.
Abusers are able to stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them. Most abusers are not out of control. In fact, they’re able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it’s to their advantage to do so (for example, when the police show up or their boss calls).
Violent abusers usually direct their blows where they won’t show. Rather than acting out in a mindless rage, many physically violent abusers carefully aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show.Battering/abuse doesn’t exist in lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities; only men abuse women.