When people think about domestic violence, they generally have the stereotypical image of a large, aggressive man bullying, threatening and outright abusing a much-smaller woman. But this stereotype doesn’t really hold true when they’re examined carefully — and it doesn’t begin to apply to same-sex relationships.
Studies indicate that people in same-sex relationships suffer intimate partner violence as often or more often than those in heterosexual couples. Yet, there’s very little acknowledgment that domestic violence can be a factor in these relationships. Partially, that’s because the research into those relationships is still limited — in 2015, for example, studies on same-sex domestic violence represented just 3% of the total research on the subject.
It’s also partially related to the fact that same-sex domestic violence is far less likely to be reported through official channels than heterosexual violence. A 2012 study indicates that less than 5% of LGBTQA domestic violence victims sought legal assistance through orders of protection. Exactly why victims of same-sex domestic violence are less likely to seek assistance isn’t clear, but it may be connected to long-standing distrust in the community toward the court systems. The years of open discrimination against members of the LGBTQA community has left many touch-sensitive and disinclined to engage with authorities for fear of more mistreatment.
If you’re in a same-sex relationship where your intimate partner is abusive, that can leave you feeling very much alone — but you’re not. The problem is definitely more widespread than most people realize.
Removing yourself from a relationship with a violent intimate partner is essential to your well-being. An experienced attorney can help you dissolve your legal ties and protect your interests.