Domestic violence, intimate partner violence, or partner abuse is a pattern of behavior one person uses over another to systematically gain and maintain power and control in an intimate relationship. Abuse is not just physical. A person may use emotional, sexual, financial, and/or identity abuse in the relationship to gain control.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual experience intimate partner violence at rates equal to or greater than the general population and initial research shows that up to 50% of people who identify as transgender experience domestic violence over their lifetime.
GLBTQ intimate partner violence impacts many relationships, families, and communities. Abusers may use some of the following behavior to gain and maintain power and control in an intimate relationship.
• Name-calling, insults, or put-downs
• Intimidation, threating with physical harm, blackmail, harassment, or stalking
• Isolation, withholding access to phone and transportation, or constant “checking-in”
• Grabbing, pinching, shoving, hitting, biting, arm-twisting, choking, slapping, or punching
• Withholding access medication, food or fluids, sleep, or forcing alcohol and drug use
• Not respecting sexual boundaries, nonconsensual sex, or withholding sex
• Controlling access to financial resources, withholding money or access to a job, on-the-job harassment, or identity theft
In addition, abusers in GLBTQ relationships may use additional behavior specific to the survivor’s GLBTQ identity, such as:
• Pressuring to out the survivor as GLBTQ to friends, family, work, and other support systems
• Using GLBTQ stereotypes to gain and maintain power and control
• Withholding access to hormones or medication/doctor’s appointments
• Isolating a survivor from GLBTQ communities
• Telling a survivor that nobody will help them because they are GLBTQ
If you are the victim of domestic abuse the Gay Elder Circle encourages you to seek assistance from your local LGBTQ+ Center, or call the national sexual assault hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.