Additional Barriers LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Survivors Face
Domestic violence is a public health crisis that is often thought of as being perpetrated by men onto women. However domestic violence affects the LGBTQ+ community at the same rate or even higher than heterosexual relationships.
According to the NCADV, 45% of victims do not report the violence they experience to police because they believe it will not help. Transgender people are less likely to seek help for fear of revictimization by the police and our legal system. In a study of male same sex relationships, only 26% of men called the police for assistance after experiencing near lethal violence. 43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
Additionally, the LGBTQ+ community is faced with added barriers when seeking support and safety from service providers. Here is a list of obstacles LGBTQ + individuals may consider before reaching out for help:
- Low levels of confidence in the effectiveness of the legal system for LGBTQ+ people.
- Lack of appropriate training for domestic violence service providers in supporting LGBTQ+ individuals.
- LGBTQ+ survivors may be unaware of friendly assistance programs that can help them become safe.
- Fear of homophobia from law enforcement, staff of service providers, or from other clients/survivors.
- Afraid that pronouns will not be respected.
- Fear that transgender individuals will be denied entry to a shelter due to their gender/genital/legal status.
Law enforcement, social service providers, and our legal system needs to bridge the gap and provide supportive, efficient, and safe services to the LGBTQ+ community because everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.