Romantic relationships are, by nature, emotional. When emotions run high, it can be easy for jealousy to turn from affection to violence. It's important to remember that emotion is not an excuse for violence and that all parties should keep their hands to themselves. However, in all relationships, emotion too often becomes a physical lashing out when people feel rejected, jealous, or just angry.
Intimate Partner Violence
When violence occurs between people who are, or ever have been, romantically involved, it becomes a crime that falls under the Intimate Partner Violence umbrella. An intimate partner is defined as anyone with whom a person has or has had a physical, romantic, or dating relationship, or with whom that person has a child. Intimate partner violence is more commonly known as domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Among LGBTQ Relationships
Domestic violence includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical harm, psychological or emotional violence, and stalking. These crimes can be charged under a variety of criminal codes, depending on the severity of the incident and the judgment of the arresting officer.
Domestic violence is known by a variety of names including:
- Domestic Violence
- Domestic Abuse
- Simple Battery
- Misdemeanor Battery
- Sexual Battery
- Domestic Battery
- Corporal Injury
- Spousal Abuse
The high incidents of domestic violence among the LGBTQ community are unfortunate and should be addressed by individuals and the community. However, the likelihood of a person of alternative sexual identity to land in jail, even temporarily, because of these incidents poses a danger to that individual.
Rates Of Domestic Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships
While the rate of abuse between same-sex couples is often cited as being about the same as between straight couples, some studies suggest that this may not be true. According to a review of studies conducted by students at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, the rate of abuse in same-sex relationships is higher among same-sex couples. Statistics from the while approximately 25 percent of heterosexual relationships report domestic abuse, the authors of the Northwestern review found that in LGBTQ relationships, the rates of domestic violence may be as high as 75 percent, but that the victims of same-sex domestic abuse are hesitant to report the abuse to authorities for a variety of reasons.
Why Is Domestic Violence So Prevalent in LGBTQ Relationships?
“Evidence suggests that the minority stress model may explain these high prevalence rates,” said senior author Richard Carroll, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “Domestic violence is exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority. This leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.”
Risk Factors for Domestic Abuse
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, NCADV, reports that 32.9% of California women and 27.3% of California men have experienced some form of intimate partner violence and/or intimate partner stalking.
The CDC has identified a number of risk factors for Intimate Partner Violence. Many of the risk factors apply to both the aggressor and the victim in domestic violence situations, while some factors are more closely aligned with one or the other.
Just a few of these risk factors include:
Individual Risk Factors
- Low self-esteem
- Low academic achievement
- Young age
- Heavy alcohol and drug use
- Antisocial personality traits
- Prior history of being physically abusive
- Emotional dependence and insecurity
- Perpetrating psychological aggression
Relationship Risk Factors
- Relationship conflict (fights, tension, etc.)
- Marital instability (divorce or separation)
- Economic stress
- Unhealthy family relationships and interactions
- Dominance of one partner over the other
What To Do About Domestic Violence In Same-Sex Relationships
If you find yourself a part of a relationship that is experiencing intimate partner violence, or domestic abuse, help is available. Whether you are a victim of domestic violence or the aggressor, the time to seek help is now.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
Perpetrators of domestic violence can seek psychological help in dealing with their aggressive tendencies before they get out of control. Find a counselor experienced in helping patients deal with physical aggression and domestic issues.
If You Get Arrested For Domestic Violence
If the police are called to your home, apartment, or any other location where there is a disturbance between people who have, or have had, a romantic relationship, emotions are likely to be running high. When the people involved in the disagreement are members of a same-sex relationship, the police may not recognize right away that there is a romantic element at play. When both parties are men, the police are even more likely to be on high alert for violence.
The more you can keep a level head about you and act with restraint toward the police officers and the other party involved, the better things will go. It's important to be calm. Conduct yourself in such a way that the law enforcement officers don't see you as a threat. This keeps you safe, as well as putting you in a position to be able to calmly explain your side of things to the police.
When dealing with the police, remember:
- Cooperate with police officers, physically. Don't resist them, even if they feel the need to restrain you.
- Speak as calmly as possible, if you choose to answer their questions.
- Don't speak to or yell at the other party in the altercation.
- Conduct yourself in a dignified way, allowing the officers to see that your behavior was only what was necessary for self-defense.
If you are arrested and charged with battery, the arresting officer should inform you of your Miranda Rights:
- You have the right to remain silent – They can't make you talk, other than to provide your name, address, and show some sort of identification, upon request.
- Anything you say can be used against you – If you choose to talk to the authorities, the statements you make can be used against you in court.
- You have the right to an attorney – You can ask to have an attorney present while they question you. If you ask for an attorney but continue to talk to the officers, while you wait for your attorney, the answers you give can still be used against you.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you – If you cannot afford an attorney, but would like to have one, the court will appoint an attorney for you, free of charge.
It is important to keep things from escalating in front of the police. If you get angry and strike out against a police officer, new and even more serious charges can be filed against you. Remaining calm and being physically cooperative will work in your favor, as you negotiate the legal path that lies ahead.
Domestic Violence Bail Bonds For LGBTQ Defendants
Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds is an LGBTQ friendly bail bond agency that works hard to ensure that you are able to bail out of jail as quickly as possible. The licensed and trained bail bond agents that work with Mr. Nice Guy understand the special circumstances surrounding LGBTQ relationships and the need to ensure bail as quickly as possible to avoid the dangers behind bars. If you are arrested for Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, or any variations of these crimes, call Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds right away. They'll work fast to get you out of jail and back home to safety, as quickly as possible.
Domestic Violence Resources
The Los Angeles LGBT Center offers assistance to the victims of domestic abuse and counseling for the perpetrators, as well as family and group counseling for LGBTQ families.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers the following list of Domestic Violence programs, arranged by Congressional District.
1st Congressional District
Alternatives to Violence, Red Bluff
Catalyst DV Serv., Chico
DV and SA Coalition, Grass Valley
Siskiyou DV and Crisis Center, Yreka
One Safe Place, Redding
2nd Congressional District
Center for Domestic Peace, San Rafael
Human Response Network, Weaverville
Humboldt DV Services, Eureka
Interval House, Seal Beach Project Sanctuary, Ukiah
Rural Human Services, Crescent City
3rd Congressional District
Casa de Esperanza, Yuba
City Empower Yolo,
Woodland SafeQuest Solano, Fairfield
4th Congressional District
Center for a Non-Violent Community, Sonora
Center for Violence Free Relationships, Placerville
Kene Me-Wu, American Indian DV/SA Program, Sonora
Live Violence Free, South Lake Tahoe
Operation Care, Jackson
Stand Up Placer, Auburn T
ahoe SAFE Alliance, King Beach
5th Congressional District
Napa Emergency Women’s Services, Napa
6th Congressional District
My Sister’s House, Sacramento
7th Congressional District
A Community for Peace, Citrus Heights
8th Congressional District
Desert Sanctuary, Barstow
DOVES of Big Bear Valley, Big Bear Lake
Morongo Basin Unity Home, Joshua Tree
Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center, Bishop
YWCA Sonoma County, Santa Rosa
10th Congressional District
Haven Women’s Ctr. of Stanislaus, Modesto
11th Congressional District
STAND! For Families Free of Violence, Concord 1
2th Congressional District
Asian Women’s Shelter, San Francisco
La Casa De Las Madres, San Francisco
Community United Against Violence, San Francisco
Riley Center of St. Vincent de Paul, San Francisco
13th Congressional District
Shalom Bayit, Oakland
Women’s Daytime Drop In Center, Berkeley
14th Congressional District
CORA, San Mateo
15th Congressional District
Building Futures with Wmn and Chld, San Leandro
Ruby’s Place, Hayward
16th Congressional District
Community Action Partnership of Madera County, Madera
Marjaree Mason Center, Fresno
17th Congressional District
Maitri, Santa Clara
Safe Alternatives to Violent Env., Fremont
19th Congressional District
Asian Am. for Comm. Involvement, San Jose
Next Door Solutions to DV, San Jose
Tri-Valley Haven, Livermore
YWCA Silicon Valley, San Jose
20th Congressional District
Comm. Solutions, Gilroy
YWCA Monterey County Salinas
21st Congressional District
Kings Community Action Organization, Hanford
22nd Congressional District
Family Services of Tulare County, Visalia
23rd Congressional District
Central California Family Crisis Center, Porterville
24th Congressional District
Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara
RISE, Paso Robles Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo
25th Congressional District
Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall
28th Congressional District
YWCA of Glendale, Glendale
31st Congressional District
Option House, San Bernadino
33rd Congressional District
Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children, Santa Monica
34th Congressional District
Asian Pacific Women’s Center, Los Angeles
Every 9 Seconds, San Jacinto
Korean American Family Services, Los Angeles
Peace Over Violence, Los Angeles
Southern California Alcohol and Drug Program, Downey
35th Congressional District
House of Ruth, Claremont
36th Congressional District
Shelter from the Storm, Palm Desert
37th Congressional District
1736 Family Crisis Center, Los Angeles
Center for the Pacific Asian Family, Los Angeles
Jenesse Center, Inc., Los Angeles
National Council of Jewish Women/LA, Los Angeles
38th Congressional District
Women and Children’s Crisis Center, Whittier
39th Congressional District
Women’s Transitional Living Center, Fullerton
YWCA San Gabriel Valley, Covina
40th Congressional District
East LA Women’s Center, Los Angeles
45th Congressional District
Human Options, Irvine
47th Congressional District
Rainbow Services, San Pedro
Su Casa Ending Domestic Violence, Long Beach
Women’s Shelter of Long Beach, Long Beach
49th Congressional District
Laura’s House, Ladera Ranch
50th Congressional District
Community Resource Center, Encinitas
52nd Congressional District
Center for Community Solutions, San Diego
53rd Congressional District
YWCA San Diego, San Diego