June is Pride Month, and since 1970 it has been set to highlight the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+ history. Pride celebrates the achievements of and brings awareness to the LGTBQ+ community.
Yet even in 2019, folks who hold one or more LGTBQ+ identities face discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The month of June helps increase awareness of many issues the LGTBQ+ community in particular faces, such as the topic of intimate partner violence and dating abuse.
Minority groups are all too often excluded in the discussion and definition of intimate partner violence, which can lead to not understanding the full issue of IPV in LGBTQ+ relationships. However, studies have shown that nearly 43% of LGBT* youth self-identify as survivors of physical dating violence, compared to only 29% in youth who identify as heterosexual. Additionally, 59% of LGBT youth report experiencing emotional abuse.
There are also many intersections between LGBTQ+ identities and IPV that can complicate access to resources, such as the fear of being outed to others. Additionally, the resources that are available for LGBTQ+ folks for IPV are less available or not as well adapted to support survivors of IPV and other forms of violence. Many providers do not have the resources or training to help assist LGBTQ+ survivors, leaving survivors little to no options to receive help.
Furthermore, different identities in the LGBTQ+ community lead to different impacts and effects of IPV. The data on transgender and non-binary folks is still very limited, yet a 2015 report indicated that about 46% of transgender folks have been verbally harassed, about 9% have been physically attacked,and about 54% have experienced intimate partner violence. The issue of IPV and the transgender and non-binary community is complex and serves to further highlight the issue that many within the LGTBQ+ community face different stigmas, for example trans women and folks of color.
Finally, it is important to draw attention to the particular violence transgender teens and young people face. A study reported that about 50% of transgender teens were assaulted by their partners and that many trans youth face more discrimination then their LGB counterparts.
According to a 2015 study, people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community have a higher lifetime prevalence of IPV than to their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts. They tend to rely mostly on friends and family for advice about relationships and dating abuse instead of going to more formal routes.
We want to support young folks of all genders and orientations to seek whatever support feels best to them, and we also want to make more institutional resources available. That’s why we offer counseling and support groups specifically for folks who identify as LGTBQ+ and as survivors. We also offer workshops for professionals (such as teachers and social workers) that are specifically tailored towards learning about the LGTBQ+ community.
If you or a friend need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to support you.
In addition to Day One, these services (and many more) are available:
Anti-Violence Project: counseling for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence
LGBT National Help Center: online and local support centers
Trans Lifeline: hotline for transgender persons in need of support
The Trevor Project: resource and hotline for LGBTQ+ youth in crisis
* The term LGBT was used in the survey and is what we use here to refer to the results.