Happy Pride Month!
Each June, we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a time to uplift the LGBTQ+ community and recognize the continued struggle for equity. LGBTQ+ survivors sometimes experience domestic violence differently than non-LGBTQ+ survivors, and they may have additional barriers to overcome when seeking help. A common misconception is that abuse does not happen in LGBTQ+ intimate partnerships. However, the National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey reveals that LBGTQ+ people experience domestic abuse at the same rate or higher than non-LGBTQ+ people. This myth creates and perpetuates stigma for LGBTQ+ survivors, making it easier for abusers to maintain control and keep survivors from seeking help.
When LGBTQ+ people experience domestic violence, they are impacted by both the abuse and homophobia, transphobia, and/or biphobia. This may lead to:
Fear of having to “out” oneself
Fear of seeking help due to previous or historical negative experiences
Experiences with service providers who lack inclusive training
Lack of familiarity with LBGTQ+-specific resources, if available
Additionally, LGBTQ+ people are sometimes hesitant to come forward because they fear fueling negative perspectives of the community. It is important to note that abuse is never the fault of the victim, and abusive LGBTQ+ relationships are not reflective of all LBGTQ+ relationships. Further, LGBTQ+ people are not responsible for homophobia, transphobia, or biphobia.
At Sojourner, we know everyone deserves to be safe in their homes and relationships. This month and every month, we work hard to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of the many different people who access Sojourner’s free and confidential services. As an ally, you can offer support by learning about the LGBTQ+ community, advocating publicly and privately for equal rights, and dispelling myths about who could be a victim of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know are part of the LGBTQ+ community and experience harm, help is available. Reach out to our 24/7 Crisis Line at 952-933-7422 for free and confidential support. To learn more about national organizations that also serve LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence, check out this list.