Domestic Abuse Can Appear in LGBTQ+ Relationships
Recent efforts have succeeded in raising awareness to the fact that abuse can happen to men and women alike. While people are still digesting this information, many are oblivious to the potential prevalence of threats and violence in same-sex relationships. The truth is that domestic abuse is not a problem exclusive to heterosexual relationships. It can, and does, happen among every sexual orientation and relationship type.
What Does Domestic Abuse Look Like?
Abuse can follow the same course in any relationship at the expense of a victim of any gender. The abuser typically lavishes the victim with attention, attracting them with a fun and exciting side. However, these facades eventually deteriorate and reveal their true character. When this happens, the abuser may:
- isolate the victim from friends;
- inflict violence through offensive verbal abuse;
- control some or all aspects of the victim’s life; and
- coerce or force the victim to engage in unwanted sexual or intimate acts.
The abuse can lead to temporary physical marks and/or permanent emotional and mental scars.
Additional Barriers for LGBTQ+ Couples
Getting the help necessary to escape an abusive relationship is complicated when the relationship itself is kept secret. Victims of same-sex violence may feel silenced if they have not officially come out as gay. Partners in abusive relationships may even use the victim’s closeted sexuality as a mechanism to control the victim even further by threatening to “out” them if they leave. With nobody to talk to because of their forced silence, victims may internalize the pain until it’s unbearable, leading to dangerous outcomes.
Exclusive language in resources poses an additional obstacle and imposes a debilitating level of self-doubt for victims. When resources use exclusively masculine pronouns to reference the abuser and exclusively female for the victim, it can cause victims to brush off the very real harm being done to them as they accept this false notion that abuse only takes one shape.
Beyond the language, much of the information can neglect same-sex assault entirely, especially between females, because of preconceived notions of what abusers look like. This leads to weakened resources with incomplete support offerings as they struggle to understand and offer help for actions like female-to-female rape, leaving victims to cope with their trauma alone and further question themselves in the situation.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, contact our lawyers immediately. We offer confidential support from a team you can trust. The Springer Law Firm PLLC takes these cases seriously and work tirelessly to keep our clients safe.The Springer Law Firm attorneys are available to help protect you and your future. Call us today to get started: (281) 990-6025.