How common is domestic violence in the LGBTQIA community?
The rate of domestic violence and statistics about abuse within the LGBTQIA community are difficult to determine because of the high number of unreported cases. However, the 2010 National Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Survey found that 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, 26% of gay men, and 37% of bisexual men experience domestic violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.1 Some studies show that up to 50% of transgender women experience intimate partner violence.2 There are not available statistics about the rate of domestic violence for intersex or asexual people.
Despite similar rates of domestic violence in the LGBTQIA community compared to the heterosexual community, LGBTQIA people face barriers to leaving abusive relationships that heterosexual victims often do not. Domestic violence is most commonly thought of as something that happens to cis women and is committed by cis men. Therefore, most services are geared towards helping heterosexual women, which can make LGBTQIA victims feel even more isolated and misunderstood than they may already because of their minority status.
1 “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence in 2014,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2 “Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Abuse Among LGBT People - A Review of Existing Research,” The Williams Institute