LGBTQ Domestic Violence on the Rise

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released a report Wednesday, Oct. 26, on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer domestic/intimate partner violence in the United States. The Report found that LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence reports increased 15 percent since 2008 and the murder rate related to LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence has increased by 50 percent since 2007.

Experts believe that domestic violence occurs in the LGBTQ community with the same amount of frequency and severity as in the heterosexual community. Laws for protection of same-sex victims differ widely across the United States, and many victims of LGBTQ relationship abuse are reluctant to seek help due to fear of discrimination and bias. Therefore, the presence of domestic violence in LGBTQ relationships is vastly underreported and abuse crimes are often reported as something other than domestic violence.

LGBTQ Domestic Violence Statistics:

  • Approximately 50 percent of the lesbian population has experienced or will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
  • Gay and bisexual men experience abuse in intimate partner relationships at a rate of 2 in 5, which is comparable to the amount of domestic violence experienced by heterosexual women.  
  • In one year, 44 percent of victims in LGBTQ domestic violence cases identified as men, while 36 percent identified as women.
  • 78 percent of lesbians report they have either defended themselves or fought back against an abusive partner.
  • The most common age of victims reporting LGBTQ domestic violence are those between the ages of 30-39 years.

Types of Abuse:

  • Physical: the threat of harm or any forceful physical behavior that intentionally or accidentally causes bodily harm or property destruction.
  • Sexual: any forced or coerced sexual act or behavior motivated to acquire power and control over the partner. It is not only forced sexual contact but also contact that demeans or humiliates the partner and instigates feelings of shame or vulnerability – particularly in regards to the body, sexual performance or sexuality.
  • Emotional/Verbal: any use of words, voice, action or lack of action meant to control, hurt or demean another person. Emotional abuse typically includes ridicule, intimidation or coercion.
  • Financial: the use or misuse, without the victim’s consent, of financial or other monetary resources of the partner or of the relationship.
  • Identity Abuse: using personal characteristics to demean manipulate and control the partner. Some of these tactics overlap with other forms of abuse, particularly emotional abuse. This category is comprised of the social “isms”, including racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, beauty-ism, as well as homophobia. Includes threats to “out” victim.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship Hubbard House can help. Please call the Hubbard House hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. 

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE

Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida 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 childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

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