Domestic Violence Within The LGBTQ Community

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
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • 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
  • Depression
  • 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. Domestic Violence Therapists in California

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.

Be Calm

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

RedRover, Sacramento

WEAVE, 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

Narika, Napa

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