Domestic abuse/violence is not limited to heterosexual relationships it can affect individuals of all sexual orientations and genders. Within the LGBTQ+ community, intimate partner violence occurs at a rate equal to or higher than that of the heterosexual community. LGBTQ+ individuals may experience unique forms of intimate partner abuse/violence as well as distinctive barriers to seeking help due to fear of discrimination or bias. 

Although the response to LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse/violence is gradually improving, the LGBTQ+ community is often met with ineffective and victimizing legal responses. 45% of victims do not report the abuse/violence they experience to police because they believe it will not help their situation. Members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel they will be denied support from the police and domestic abuse services due to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. This is not so.

There are several aspects of intimate partner violence/abuse which can be unique to the LGBTQ community. “Outing” or threatening to reveal one partner’s sexual orientation/gender identity may be used as a tool of abuse in abusive/violent relationships and can also be a barrier which reduces the likelihood of victims seeking help.

Prior experiences of physical or psychological trauma, such as bullying and hate crime, make LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse/violence less likely to seek the help and support needed.

Helplines

If you would like to discuss support you may need in relation to abuse or any of the points raised in this post, here are some numbers for organisations that may be able to help:

Next Chapter 01206 500 585 (non-judgemental domestic abuse support for anyone who is impacted from abuse)

Outhouse 01206 671 394 (LGBTQ+ community support offering counselling, youth workers and social groups

Openroad 01206 766 096 (support with addiction)

National Centre for Domestic Violence 0207 186 8270 (support with emergency orders)