Same sex violence

For information about Half the Sky Foundation, please visit halfthesky. Domestic abuse in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community is a serious issue. LGBT people suffer through same sex violence or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners which is about the same rates as in as domestic abuse against heterosexual women.

As in opposite-gendered couples, the problem is underreported. Those involved in same-gender abuse are often afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship. There are many parallels between LGBT people’s experience of domestic abuse and that of heterosexual women, including the impact on the abused partner and the types of abuses such as emotional bullying, physical aggression, threats to harm the victim or other loved ones, social isolation, control of finances, extreme jealousy. However, there are a number of aspects that are unique to LGBT domestic abuse. The abuser may use the close-knit dynamic of the gay and lesbian community and the lack of support for LGBT people outside the community to further pressure the victim into compliance.

For many people, their sexual orientation or gender identity becomes associated with the abuse so that they blame the abuse on being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. There hasn’t been much information or discussion in the LGBT communities about domestic abuse. Most information on domestic abuse relates to experiences of heterosexual women. Believe it happens in LGBT relationships. Recognise their experience as domestic abuse if it does happen to them.

Know how to respond if they see domestic abuse being experienced by their friends. They may feel ashamed about the abuse, or their partner may have tried to turn others in the community against them. LGBT venues or events and preventing them seeing friends from within the community. Encouraging Disclosure It can be hard for LGBT domestic violence victims to seek help because they may not want to disclose their sexuality to police or other organisations.