Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQQ) youth experience dating abuse at the same rates and in similar ways as heterosexual couples do. In fact, one in three young people — straight, gay and everyone in between — experience some form of dating abuse (loveisrespect.org).
A study of self-identified GLBT youth measured five types of violence: controlling behaviors, threats to physical safety, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Of the males, 43.6 percent had experienced at least one type of abuse from a same-sex partner, and 39.8 percent of the females reported experiencing at least one type of abuse from a same-sex partner. Controlling behaviors were the most common type of abuse, followed by emotional abuse (Journal of Adolescent Health, 2002).
What’s unique for LGBTQQ youth
- Those in same-sex relationships typically experience the same types of violence as those in opposite-sex relationships, but same -sex partners or transgender partners may have the additional threat and fear of being “outed” by their partner.
- Lack of access to models of healthy adult same-sex relationships.
- Additionally, youth may struggle with accessing help because of…
- Shame or Embarrassment – Internalized Homophobia or Transphobia
- Fear of not Being Believed or Taken Seriously.
- Fear of Retaliation, Harassment, Rejection or Bullying.
- Less Legal Protection.
Resources on Relationship Violence and LGBTQQ Youth
- The first is an online video from thatsnotcool.com, a site created and maintained by Futures without Violence. Thatsnotcool.com is intended for teens, and works to address dating violence occurring online and through cell phones. One video features a lesbian couple and tackles the issue of pressures to share passwords.
- The other resource is from Loveisrespect.org, which is also a website intended for youth and young adults. This site (created by Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Hotline) includes information on maintaining healthy LGBTQQ relationships and some very basic information about LGBTQQ abusive relationships.
Created by Jenny DeBower for The Center for Anti-Violence Education, 2013