Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

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

Information for Advocates: Identifying Victims and Abusers

Screening is a process that may take place over several sessions. It is not enough to just ask, “Are you a victim of domestic violence?” Many victims are afraid to talk about it or don’t define what happens to them as abusive.   Many abusers see themselves as victims or lie about their behavior.15

Screening is not fool-proof, but it will help you better identify both victims and abusers, and craft your responses accordingly.  Conversations about IPV must be held in absolute privacy, to reduce the danger that the abuser will learn of the victim’s disclosure and retaliate. Screening should be postponed if it is not possible to provide privacy, or if a needed interpreter is not available. An individual adult or child accompanying a client should not be used as an interpreter.

Individuals should be asked separately about victimization and abusiveness.

Next:  Information for Advocates:  Safety Planning with LGBTQ Victims

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  1. The New York State LGBTQ Network Training & Technical Assistance Center (TTA Center) provides free training, technical assistance and ongoing education to residential and non-residential domestic violence programs to increase the programs’ LGBTQ cultural competency and ability to provide services to LGBTQ survivors.