The warning signs of domestic violence within LGBTQ relationships are similar to those seen in heterosexual relationships, and could include emotional and/or psychological abuse, economic abuse, physical violence or sexual assault.
However, there are certain tactics that abusers in LGBTQ relationships will use to assert power and control over their partners.
If you are in an abusive relationship, you are not alone.
Gay and bisexual men experience abuse in intimate partner relationships at a rate of 2 in 5, which is comparable to the amount of domestic violence experienced by heterosexual women.1
Approximately 50% of the lesbian population has experienced or will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.2
19% of trans people have experienced domestic violence at the hands of a family member because of their transgender identity or gender non‐conformity.3
If you’re unsure whether or not a situation or relationship is abusive, ask yourself if your significant other:
- Threatens to “out” your sexual orientation or gender identity to family members, employers, community members and others.
- Makes you feel unworthy of love and support because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Makes you feel that you deserve to be abused.
- Threatens to reveal your HIV/AIDS status to family members, employers, community members and others.
- Makes you feel like you’re not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender because of your relationship history.
- Makes you feel that you’re not the gender you identify with or purposefully misgenders you.
- Makes you feel like you’re not a “real” man or woman.
- Justifies the abuse as being consensual, mutual or an expression of a “desirable” trait, such as masculinity.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to seek support and help about your relationship.
Every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to feel safe, respected and loved in an intimate relationship.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing violence and/or abuse in a relationship or at home, call our 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 to speak with a trained advocate today.
Power and Control Tactics in LGBTQ Relationships
In abusive and/or violent relationships, power and control are repeatedly misused against a partner.
Below are additional examples of tactics that may be used by an abuser in an LGBTQ relationship. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. If you are worried about your relationship, call our 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 to speak with a trained advocate or send us a message on our Get Help page.
Here are other local and national resources you can check out for more information:
- The NW Network: The NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse works to end violence and abuse by building loving and equitable relationships in our community and across the country.
- Forge: FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization.
- NCAVP: The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected people each year from all five boroughs of New York City through direct client services and community organizing and public advocacy.