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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.
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. Abuse associated with sexual orientation or gender identity — 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.
Most information on domestic abuse relates to experiences of heterosexual women. This lack of understanding means that some people may not:. Confidentiality and isolation within the LGBT communities — LGBT communities are often hidden and can rely on friends and relationships as support within the local community; this is often compounded when living in smaller towns and rural areas and can make it difficult for the abused partner to seek help.
They may feel ashamed about the abuse, or their partner may have tried to turn others in the community against them. This can be especially true for people in their first same-sex relationship who may not have had much contact with the LGBT community before the relationship began. 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.
Here is an example of asking someone if they are experiencing domestic abuse which is inclusive: Is this a concern for you? Have you ever felt afraid of your partner? Lesbian and Gay Power and Control Wheel. However there are things you can do to increase your own safety. A safety plan can help you protect yourself against future abuse whether you stay in the relationship, or if you leave.
Studies on abuse between gay male or lesbian partners usually rely on small convenience samples such as lesbian or gay male members of an association. Some sources state that gay and lesbian couples experience domestic violence at the same frequency as heterosexual couples,  while other sources state domestic violence among gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals might be higher than among heterosexual individuals, that gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals are less likely to report domestic violence that has occurred in their intimate relationships than heterosexual couples are, or that lesbian couples experience domestic violence less than heterosexual couples do.
Literature on intimate partner violence IPV among same-gender female couples, researchers found that internalized homophobia and discrimination were correlated with IPV. Although bisexual people may be in relationships with people of any gender, they are often victims of domestic violence.
For both men and women, the percentage of bisexual people who have experienced domestic violence is higher than either gay men or lesbians. The high rate of domestic violence faced by bisexual people may be in part because of the specific challenges bisexual people face in receiving help, as bisexuality is often misunderstood, even by those who administer domestic violence help professionally.
Transgender people may be in relationships with people of any gender, but they experience high rates of domestic violence. Comparatively, little research has been conducted on domestic violence towards transgender individuals, especially within the context of romantic relationships. Members of same-sex relationships who face domestic violence often have issues accessing legal recourse, as domestic violence laws are often drafted in such a way as to only include different sex partnerships.
Also, studies have shown that law enforcement officers do not treat domestic violence in same-sex relationships as seriously as domestic violence in heterosexual relationships.
Victims of domestic violence in same sex relationships do have legal rights afforded to them in some U. Some cities and states in the U. Those living with HIV are often financially dependent on their partners, making it more difficult to leave abusive relationships.
The abuser may also claim that it is the victim's fault that the abuser has HIV or AIDS, essentially emotionally blackmailing them to stay in the relationship. Additionally, many people in same-sex relationships who experienced domestic violence experienced violence specifically because they had asked their partners to use condoms or other prophylactics , which are known to limit the spread of HIV.
Homophobia plays a role in causing domestic violence in same-sex relationships as well as being a systemic issue as to why victims of same-sex domestic violence lack access to resources.
One way this occurs is through the fear of being " outed ," as abusers may use this fear of being outed to control their partners or an abuser may use the fact that they are not out to limit their partner's exposure to other LGBT people who would recognize that their relationship is unhealthy.
Another way homophobia plays a role in domestic violence is that people in same-sex relationships may feel that they have a duty to represent the LGBT community in a positive manner, and that if their relationship is abusive it is proof that homosexuality is inherently wrong, immoral, or otherwise flawed.
On a systematic level, many resources offered to victims of domestic violence are not offered to victims of domestic violence in same-sex relationships. This refusal to help victims of same-sex domestic violence victims occurs both by private domestic violence help centers and by law enforcement, who may not treat same-sex domestic violence as seriously as domestic violence in heterosexual relationships.
Historically, domestic violence was viewed by many feminists as "a manifestation of patriarchal power. Some abusers even capitalize on the idea that domestic violence cannot occur in same-sex relationships to convince their partner that the abuse is normal or non-abusive. One idea that persists and is harmful to lesbians, is that sexual assault is less serious or aggressive when perpetrated by women.
Similarly, women stalking other women or men seem as less threatening than the same actions being perpetrated by men, so lesbian victims of stalking may be ignored by law enforcement and other individuals. This idea of a "lesbian utopia" makes it more difficult for lesbians to report domestic violence, because often people don't believe it can be true. Gay men may feel that being battered is a threat to their masculinity , and thus are hesitant to report domestic violence.
There are several problems with data collection about domestic violence in same-sex relationships, including lack of reporting, biased sampling, and lack of interest in studying same-sex domestic violence.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Homosexuality Bisexuality pansexuality polysexuality Demographics Biology Environment. Academic fields and discourse. Queer studies Lesbian feminism Queer theory Transfeminism Lavender linguistics. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual affirmative outreach and advocacy". Some states offer no domestic violence protection to gays. Journal of interpersonal violence.