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LGBTQIA Abuse

Abusive partners in LGBTQIA relationships use all the same tactics to gain power and control as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships — physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial control, isolation, and more. Abusive partners in LGBTQIA relationships also reinforce their tactics by maintaining power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQIA relationship.

The following are examples of power and control tactics:

  • “Outing” a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity — Abusive partners in LGBTQIA relationships may threaten to ‘out’ victims to family members, employers, community members, or others.
  • Saying that no one will help the victim because he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; or that, for this reason, the partner “deserves” the abuse.
  • Justifying the abuse with the notion that a partner is not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender: ex. The victim may once have had or may still have relationships or express a gender identity inconsistent with the abuser’s definitions of these terms). This can be used both as a tool in verbal and emotional abuse as well as to further the isolation of a victim from the community.
  • Monopolizing support resources through an abusive partner’s manipulation of friends and family supports and generating sympathy and trust in order to cut off these resources to the victim. This is a particular issue to members of the LGBTQIA community where there may be fewer specific resources, neighborhoods, or social outlets.
  • Portraying the violence as mutual and consensual, or as an expression of a “desirable” trait such as masculinity.