There is help. We believe you. You are not alone.
Within the LGBTQIA+ community, intimate partner violence occurs at alarmingly high rates. The abuse does not always look and sound the same as it does in relationships in other communities and populations. Survivors of sexual violence or intimate partner violence may experience unique barriers in getting help that cisgender or heterosexual survivors do not encounter. At MCVP: Crisis & Prevention Center, we want you to know we have services that can help.
Domestic Violence within the LGBTQIA+ Community
Domestic Violence is not limited to heterosexual relationships and can affect individuals of all sexual orientations and genders. Within the LGBTQIA+ community, intimate partner violence occurs at a rate equal to or higher than that of heterosexual communities.
Facts & Statistics
- 44% of lesbian women and 61% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women.
- 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, as opposed to 29% of heterosexual men.
- LGBTQIA+ Black victims are more likely to experience physical intimate partner violence than those who do not identify as Black.
- Transgender victims are more likely to experience intimate partner violence in public than those who do not identify as transgender.
Unique Tools of Abuse in LGBTQIA+ Relationships
Othering the Abused Partner
This is seen particularly in relationships where the abuser self-identifies as heterosexual or cisgender, but the abused partner does not.
Verbal Abuse Attacking a Person's Identity
The abuser may invalidate a person’s identity based on their past “heterosexual” relationships. This can also include derogatory language such as the refusal to use proper pronouns or chosen name to devalue the abused partner.
Physical or Sexual Abuse
Focused on a person’s gender, sexual identity, or preferences.
Dehumanizing a Partner
By using offensive or incorrect pronouns, ridiculing a transgender partner’s body and/or appearance, etc.
Threatening to Out a Partner
This can happen when one partner is not publicly out. The abusive partner can use this threat to force a partner into unwanted sexual acts or prevent them from reporting domestic violence.
Societal Barriers for Accessing Help
Although the response to LGBTQIA+ victims of domestic violence is gradually improving, the LGBTQIA+ community is often met with ineffective and victimizing legal responses. 45% of victims do not report the violence they experience to the police because they believe it will not help them.
There are still several barriers that exist to addressing LGBTQIA+ intimate partner violence:
Potential homophobia from the staff of service providers, or from non-LGBTQIA+ domestic violence victims they may come into contact with.
Lack of Appropriate Training
Lack of appropriate training regarding LGBTQIA+ domestic violence for service providers.
Fear of Airing the Problems
A fear that airing the problems among LGBTQIA+ population will take away from the progress toward equality or fuel anti-LGBTQIA+ bias.
Unsure Who Can Help or Where to Go
Domestic violence shelters are typically female only, and transgender individuals may not be allowed entrance due to their gender/genital/legal status.
The Dangers Associated with "Outing"
The dangers associated with “outing” oneself and risking rejection from family, friends, and society.
Lack or Unawareness of Resources
The lack of, or survivors being unaware of, LGBTQIA+ friendly assistance resources.
Low Confidence of the Legal System
Low levels of confidence in the effectiveness of the legal system for LGBTQIA+ people.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live free from abuse. Call if you want more resources or information, or if you are questioning unhealthy aspects of your relationships.
www.thehotline.org | 1-800-799-7233
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline offering direct emotional and final
support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans
www.translifeline.org | 877-565-8860
The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, kink, polyamorous, and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, they work to create world where all people are free from oppression. They offer support groups, housing support, and individualized services.
www.tnlr.org | 617-742-4911 (voice)
or 800-832-1901 (toll-free)
New Hampshire Resources
We are a team of dedicated individuals working toward a violence-free Monadnock Region. In addition to offering crisis intervention services, we have a dedicated prevention education team. Our direct services staff includes a full-time Family Violence Prevention Specialist, Shelter Advocate, Roving Advocate in Peterborough and Jaffrey, and a Housing First Advocate. We serve all of Cheshire County and 14 towns in western Hillsborough County. Our crisis hotline is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by staff and trained volunteers. We offer crisis intervention and peer counseling in person and over the phone to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We also provide emotional support, information about options and resources, assistance with problem solving, safety planning, and referrals.
www.mcvprevention.org | (603) 352-3782 or 1 (888) 511-6287
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence creates safe and just communities through advocacy, prevention, and empowerment of anyone affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking.
www.nhcadsv.org | 1 (866) 644-3574
603 Legal Aid provides free civil legal help to low-income people and does not charge clients for legal services. The attorneys in this program provide legal advice by telephone in areas of family law, housing, benefits and welfare, and will hear your problem and make appropriate referrals if necessary.
nhlegalaid.org | (800) 639-5290 or (603) 224-3333
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there is help.
MCVP Advocates are available 24-hours a day. Call our confidential crisis line at (603) 352-3782 or 1 (888) 511-6287. Make sure to erase your call and browser history in case your phone and/or computer are being monitored.
For more on how to be supportive of a family member, teen or adult child, or friend that is experiencing
domestic violence, visit our page on the topic here: Showing Support for Domestic Violence Survivors