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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender domestic violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the goal of which is to raise awareness of how it can affect society, communities, families and individuals. A report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs laid out the unique ways that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected people suffer from intimate partner violence.

A lady with the Pride Center Vermont said that these “unique vulnerabilities” need to be understood, as do the barriers that are up for members of the LGBTQ community. In particular, she referenced LGBTQ people who are undocumented or have disabilities, who are transgender or gender nonconforming people and LGBTQ people of color.

The statistics involving intimate partner violence for members of the LGBTQ community are tragic. For example, in 2010, report found that 35 percent of straight women and 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women suffered intimate partner violence. For men, 26 percent of gay men, 29 percent of heterosexual men and 37 percent of bisexual men suffered from intimate partner violence.

Another issue is that many victims are hesitant to come forward and report the abuse. In some cases, it is due to a fear of not being believed, being outed or a lack of services and support available for survivors.

One survivor of sexual abuse and the founder of the I Love Me Foundation said, “It’s important for other victims to know that they are not in it alone.” Your story may compel someone else to come forward and tell his or her story which could potentially put a stop to a repeat offender.

If you have experienced domestic violence abuse, there are options for you. Reporting the incident is the first step. After that, an attorney can help you seek a restraining order and other legal means to protect yourself.

Source: NBC News, “Domestic Violence Presents ‘Unique Vulnerabilities’ to LGBTQ Community,” Erin Faith Wilson, Oct. 18, 2016

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