Dating or Domestic Violence in the LGBT Community

Some of the dynamics of dating violence in gay and lesbian relationships differ from heterosexual relationships. For example, the way in which an abusive partner controls a relationship could be through threats of “outing” his/her partner to family, friends, coworkers and/or associates.

Abusive partners may suggest that police and counselors will be homophobic, thus causing the victim not to seek help. The myth that men can not be victims of abuse and that dating violence does not occur in lesbian relationships is simply that, a myth. Violence in gay and lesbian relationships occurs at the same rate as in heterosexual relationships.

Some members of the gay and lesbian community may even discourage victims of dating violence from coming forward about the abuse that is occurring. This may happen because many lesbians and gay men believe that the amount of negative media surrounding the lesbian and gay community is overwhelming without adding sexual and dating violence to it. This way of thinking can be very dangerous, not just for the victims of dating violence, but for the community in general.

There has not been research on dating or domestic violence in the bisexual or transgender community, so we are soley commenting on abuse in gay and lesbian relationships.