President Obama announced June as National LGBT Pride Month in an attempt to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
An estimated nine million people represent the LGBT population in the United States. Although LGBT Americans make up a significant portion of our national life, they continuously deal with issues of hate crimes, discrimination, bias, and isolation on a regular basis. In addition, domestic violence affects many LGBT relationships.
Statistics show most LGBT individuals affected by domestic violence are in their 30s, yet abuse occurs at all ages within the LGBT population. Two in five gay and bisexual men experience domestic violence in intimate relationships. This is comparable to the number of heterosexual women affected by partner abuse. Moreover, about half of the lesbian population will experience some form of domestic violence during their lifetime.
Partner abuse in same-gender relationships occurs with about the same frequency as in opposite-gender relationships, and the types of abuse are no different from those present in heterosexual domestic violence. Laws for protection of same-sex victims differ widely across the United States, and many victims of LGBT relationship abuse are reluctant to seek help due to fear of discrimination and bias. Therefore, the presence of domestic violence in LGBT relationships is vastly underreported and abuse crimes are often reported as something else than domestic violence.
No one deserves to be abused. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House domestic violence hotline at (904) 314-5114 or (800) 500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Hubbard House is a nationally recognized leader in domestic violence intervention. Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By Vicky Krook