Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Relationships

Anti-LGBTQ Bias: The Context for Intimate Partner Violence

When the external world is unsafe, LGBTQ individuals, like members of other oppressed groups, naturally turn to a community of others like themselves for support, friendship, and safety. Unfortunately though, if the outside world is identified as unsafe and the community is identified as safe, then acknowledging violence that happens within the community – partner abuse – becomes very difficult. When combined, all of these factors leave LGBTQ survivors without the tools to seek support.1

LGBTQ battering happens in the context of the individual and societal bias experienced by LGBTQ people on a daily basis.  This anti-LGBTQ bias includes:

These forms of bias provide opportunities and tactics for LGBTQ abusers to control their partners. They help shape both the form that IPV takes in individual cases, and the experience of individual LGBTQ victims when they seek help. 

Consider, for instance, what a gay man who is seeking help because his partner is abusing him might experience…

Next:  What is Intimate Partner Violence? Bias-Related Control Tactics

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  1. The Network/La Red (2010). Open Minds, Open Doors: Transforming Domestic Violence Programs to Include LGBTQ Survivors, p.8.