Impacts of Domestic Violence on LGBTQ People

People of all sexual orientations and gender identities can experience abuse. Yet discrimination, prejudice and oppression and have created the conditions in which gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender queer, intersex and non-binary people can be especially vulnerable to abuse and face greater challenges in trying to leave an abusive relationship.

Transgender people experience some of the highest rates of hate violence, sexual violence and domestic violence in the country. A Centers for Disease Control study found that 44% of lesbian women and 61% of bisexual women—compared to 35% of heterosexual women—experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by their intimate partner at some point in their lives. 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men—compared to 29% of heterosexual men, also experienced these forms of domestic violence in their lives.

In addition to the range of ways abuse can occur in straight relationships and among cisgender people, LGBTQ people may also experience:

  • Threats to be “outed” with your family, employer or in your cultural or religious community
  • Threats to take the children when there aren’t legal protections for LGBTQ non-biological parents
  • Threats to be “outed” to a former partner who may try to take custody of your children
  • Put downs through homophobic and transphobic name calling
  • Being monitored during use of LGBTQ friendly and affirming community spaces
  • Isolation by being forced out of your LGBTQ community

Abusers may also use potentially oppressive and discriminatory systems such as the police, courts, or medical care to reinforce their control. 

New Beginnings welcomes survivors of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Our priority is to provide high quality, culturally sensitive services that are respectful, supportive and equitable. We can also refer LGBTQ survivors to culturally specific agencies when that is the preferred option. Call our 24-hour Helpline for more information and support.