Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Victims
Domestic violence can happen to anyone in an intimate relationship regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or identity. No matter what your relationship, if your partner has used emotional, sexual, economic abuse, or physical violence against you, you are a victim of domestic violence. In addition to all of the things heterosexual abusers do, some things LGBTQ abusers might do include:
- threatening to tell your friends, family, co-workers, employer or community agencies about your sexual orientation, gender expression or identity;
- forcing you to engage in unwanted sexual acts with them or others;
- subjecting you to sexual material about, or forcing you to engage in sexual activity with, people who have a different sexual orientation or gender identity, as a way of undermining your sexual orientation or gender identity;
- making you feel bad about your sexual history or former partners;
- using social media to threaten you or expose your sexual orientation, gender expression or identity;
- withholding or preventing you from getting your hormone therapy;
- threatening to alienate you from the LGBTQ community; and
- telling you that you are crazy and threatening to have you hospitalized.
LGBTQ victims abused by their partners may face additional barriers in getting help. Under New York State law, you can get an order of protection from Family Court if you are (or have been) in an intimate relationship with the abuser. However, getting an order of protection or calling the police may mean “coming out” each time help is sought. For more information on getting an order of protection and your legal options, see "The Police and Courts" section of this booklet.
An advocate at a domestic violence program can tell you if there are support groups and other services specifically for LGBTQ victims in your community. For more information and a statewide listing of services specifically for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence, visit the NYC Anti-Violence Project: bit.ly/NYCAVPHotline. For a current list of LGBTQ Domestic Violence Network members visit NYS Anti-Violence Project: https://avp.org/nys-lgbtq-ipv-network-members/. You can also call the New York City 24-Hour Hotline 1-212-714-1141. In Our Own Voices provides statewide support and advocacy for LGBTQ victims: bit.ly/InOurOwnVoices, call 518-432-4188 (9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.).