LGBTQ+ relationships and dating violence
One in three adolescents in the U.S. will be the victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. This figure is much higher than any other type of youth violence. And abuse isn’t just happening in heterosexual relationships. It affects all types of people and relationships. It doesn’t discriminate.
In the queer community, dating violence is often perceived as a heterosexual relationship problem, normal or not as severe because the individuals share the same gender expression or gender. This is not true!
Dating abuse is just as serious in LGBTQ+ relationships as it is in heterosexual relationships. And less than 25% of those who experience dating violence in the LGBTQ+ community ever report the abuse.
Whether it is being recognized or not, dating violence in the queer community is something that needs to be talked about!
Individuals experiencing dating abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships may:
- Feel embarrassed about the abuse going on.
- Feel like their partner will try to turn the community against them if they do something their partner disagrees with or if they decide to end the relationship.
- Be worried their partner will “out” them to family and friends if they’re not out already or their partner may threaten to “out” them as a way to gain power and control over them.
- Be in their first LGBTQ+ relationship and their partner may be isolating them from the rest of the queer community as a form of power and control.
- Be made to feel ashamed about their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression by their partner.
- Feel like their partner is the only person that will ever love them because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- Be worried that they won’t be able to get help because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression if they reach out.
Everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender expression deserves a healthy relationship where they are treated with respect and valued for who they are.
Remember, you’re worth it!
However unique the challenge, if you or someone you know is experiencing dating violence in a LGBTQ+ relationship, there is hope! You have the right to reach out when you are in need of help, regardless of how you identify or who you date.