Domestic Violence Doesn’t Discriminate Against the LGBT Community

January 11th, 2017 by Attorney Dan Carman

It’s a universal truth that relationships are hard. To be successful, they require work, compromise, and sacrifice.  That’s especially true of intimate, long-term relationships. Some people have issues handling control, which can lead them to try to dominate their partner through emotional, sexual, psychological, or physical behavior. On average in the United States, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner, equaling more than 10 million women and men per year. Annually, over seven million people are victims of stalking and nearly two million women are raped.

Despite the persistence of outdated stereotypes, domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships just as it does in opposite-sex relationships. Violence affects everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner was 43.8 percent for lesbians, 61.1 percent for bisexual women, 26 percent for gay men, and 37.3 percent for bisexual men. The CDC’s data reveals that lesbians and gay men experience rates of domestic violence and sexual violence equal to or higher than those in heterosexual relationships.

The experiences of transgender people have not been researched as extensively as those whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex. Of the studies out there reporting findings of lifetime intimate partner violence, the results among transgender individuals range from 31 to 50 percent. Currently, only one study has provided separate findings for transgender females (male to female or MTF) and transgender males (female to male or FTM). That study’s findings of intimate partner violence in the past year was twice as much for transgender females than transgender males, which is consistent with the higher prevalence of domestic violence against women as a whole.

Domestic violence is widespread in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and involves some unique concerns. Victims may feel alienated from social support as well as mainstream society, may struggle with wanting to keep up appearances as a sort of model for LGBT relationships, may be reluctant to go to the police over fears of how they will be treated, or may not be public with their LGBT identity. Those who are accused often have similar fears of alienation and being outed. Transgender defendants also may have a deep-rooted (and well founded) apprehension over how they will be handled by law enforcement.

At the Carman Law Firm, we know that people facing domestic violence charges may be anxious, frightened, and unsure of what to do next. We also appreciate the needs of all our clients, and we treat members of the LGBT community and their relationships with respect. We have successfully represented countless individuals who have been where you are now, and we have the experience you need. Even if you have not been formally charged, discussing your situation with an attorney can help protect your rights. Don’t take chances when hiring a Kentucky domestic abuse attorney. Call today at (859) 685-1055 or fill out this online contact form to find out how we can help you.