What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can affect anybody regardless of age, class, disability, gender identity, caring responsibility, immigration status, race or religion. The abuse can come in a variety of forms. The home office defines domestic abuse as:
‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.’
It is important to mention that forced marriage, female-genital mutilation and honour-based violence are also classed as domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse in LGBT relationships can be very similar to those who do not identify within this way. However for LGBT community, who can already be marginalised, it is key to mention that there are some specific issues, these can include:
Outing (either related to sexuality, gender identity, or HIV Status) is domestic abuse. Threatening to out people in any setting is abuse.
Lack of awareness in the community and from support services
Homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia (both from the perpetrator and internal within the victim/survivor)
Questioning the victim’s/ survivor’s sexuality or gender identity
Prevalence and further understanding for LGBT People
About 25% of LGBT people suffer through violent or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners which is about the same rates as in as domestic abuse against heterosexual women. Although these statistics have been highlighted, it is important to understand that this could be a case of underreporting. Those involved in same-gender abuse are often afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship (End the Fear).
Stonewall’s research shows that one in four lesbian and bi women have experienced domestic abuse in a relationship. Almost half (49%) of all gay and bi men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of sixteen (Stonewall, 2015).
Within the trans community, it is estimated that between 17% and 80% have experienced domestic abuse within their lifetime. This indicates that trans people seem to be at least as likely (but probably more likely), to have these experiences (LGBT Foundation, 2017).
For further information on domestic abuse within the LGBT community, please visit:
If you feel that you need support around this area please contact us on 0345 3 30 30 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.