Domestic abuse can affect anyone – people of any race, gender, education level, or socio-economic status. So it's no surprise that domestic abuse also reaches into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
In fact, nearly 25 percent of LGBT people – about the same rate as heterosexual women – experience abusive relationships.
It's a reality that's rarely discussed – and even more rarely reported – perhaps because LGBT people fear that if they ask for help, they might have to deal with homo- or transphobic reactions from police or other officials --- even people they know or work with. Sometimes LGBT people who haven't come "out" to friends or family members feel it's riskier to confide in someone than to just put up with the abuse.
If someone is abusing you, we encourage you to talk to us about what's happening and to explore some options. Call our confidential, toll-free hotline at 1.877.890.7788. We believe you deserve to live and love with joy and respect, and we want to help.
If you're not sure your situation is abusive, here are some questions that might help you think things through. If any one of these behaviors is part of your life, you are probably being abused.
Does your partner often...
- Put you down or call you derogatory names?
- Humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
- Threaten to hurt you or people you care about?
- Threaten to hurt him or herself if you leave or don't give in and do what he or she wants?
- Become extremely jealous, even about time you spend with family?
- Keep you from seeing friends, family, or people in your LGBT community?
- Attempt to control what you wear, eat, say, where you go, what you do?
- Accuse you of flirting or being unfaithful without cause?
- Threaten to "out" you?
- Threaten to infect you with an STD or other illness?
- Physically attack you - like push, hit, restrain, grab, or choke you?
- Pressure you to do sexual things you aren't comfortable with?
- Steal your money or try to control your bank account?
- Try to keep you from working, going to school, or pursuing other activities that encourage your independence?
- Blame you for his or her behavior?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, please call and talk about what's going on.