Domestic abuse can affect anyone 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% of LGBT people experience abusive relationships. It’s a reality that’s rarely discussed and even more rarely reported.
Perhaps because LGBT people fear that they might have to deal with homophobic or transphobic reactions from police or other officials or even people they know or work with if they ask for help. 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 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 themselves if you leave or don’t give in and do what they want?
- Become extremely jealous, even about the time you spend with your family?
- Keep you from seeing friends, family, or people in your LGBT community?
- Attempt to control what you wear, eat, say, where you go, or 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, push, hit, restrain, grab, or strangle you?
- Pressure you to do sexual things that you’re not 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 their behavior?
If someone is abusing you, or if someone you know is being abused, please contact our Helpline. We’ll work with you as you explore your options and you decide what’s best for you. You don’t deserve to live in fear. No one does.