Everybody deserves a safe and healthy relationship.
Some people may think same-sex couples cannot be in abusive relationships because they are the same gender. That’s not true. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals experience dating abuse at the same rates and in similar ways as heterosexual couples do.
Dating violence and domestic can happen to anyone. One in three young people experience some form of dating abuse regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity.
Obstacles for LGBTQ Youth to Get Help
Many LGBTQ teens and 20-somethings believe that no one will help them because they are transgender or in a same-sex relationship.
If you’re LGBTQ, you may face additional obstacles when asking for help:
• Shame or Embarrassment. You may be struggling with your own internalized homophobia or shame about your sexual orientation or gender-identity. Your abusive partner may attempt to use this shame to exert power and control over you.
• Fear of not Being Believed or Taken Seriously. You may worry that if you report abuse, you will encounter common stereotypes like violence between LGBTQ partners is always mutual, abuse doesn’t occur in lesbian relationships, only the physically bigger partner can be abusive or LGBTQ relationships are inherently unhealthy. Your partner may exploit this fear, trying to convince you that no one will take an LGBTQ victim seriously.
• Fear of Retaliation, Harassment, Rejection or Bullying.
If you are not yet “out” to everyone, your abusive dating partner may threaten to tell your secret to people who will make your life more difficult once they know.
You may also fear that seeking help will make you a target of public ridicule, retaliation, harassment or bullying.
Your abusive partner may exploit these fears to isolate you and keep you in the relationship.
• Less Legal Protection. You may be unaware that you have legal options for protection -- including obtaining a restraining or protective order. Although laws vary from state to state, NYS has gender-neutral laws that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. You also have the right to file a complaint on campus. Our process does not differ or discriminate based on sexual orientation. Learn more about reporting on campus.
Abusers may say that disrespectful or violent behavior in a LGBTQ relationship is normal, but it’s not. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQ) youth have healthy relationships at similar rates and in much the same way as heterosexual couples.
LGBTQ: What the Letters Mean
A Few More...
I Am LGBTQ. Is My Relationship Healthy?
You know your relationship is probably healthy if your partner:
My Relationship is Unhealthy or Abusive
If you’re LGBTQ, you can face unique obstacles to seeking help. Know that you are not alone and there are places that can help. Learn more about support resources on and off campus.
If you're in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, you have many options -- including obtaining a domestic violenceWhether or not you’re ready to end the relationship, consider creating a safety plan.