How common is domestic violence in the LGBTQIA community?
The rate of domestic violence and statistics about abuse within the LGBTQ 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 One study shows that 30-50% of all transgender people experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.2
Despite similar rates of domestic violence in the LGBTQ community compared to the cisgender and heterosexual community, LGBTQ people face barriers to leaving abusive relationships that cisgender and 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 cisgender heterosexual women, which can make LGBTQ victims feel isolated and misunderstood.
Note: Data was only collected for LGBTQ individuals in the cited materials. Data for intersex and asexual individuals was not available at the time of writing.
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