Only 1 in 5 LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence or sexual assault get help from service providers. There are many resources for LGBTQ survivors of violence in DC, see the “Resources in DC” page. But in many other places in the country, there are none. Also, many LGBTQ survivors do not feel that support services are available to them even if they do exist. Sadly, across the nation only a small percentage of LGBTQ survivors seek help annually.
National Center for Victims of Crime and National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “Why It Matters: Rethinking Victim Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Victims of Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence,” March 2010 (6)
LGBTQ people in DC can get protection orders from their abusers.
In DC, people of any gender can get protection orders against partners, dates, wives/husbands, boyfriends/girlfriends or roommates who abuse them. See the “Know Your Rights
” page to learn more.
LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of dating violence than their straight peers.
LGBTQ youth report a 30% incidence of dating violence compared to 9% rate for heterosexual students.* And Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), DC’s LGBTQ youth service agency, has identified dating violence prevention and support as a priority action area.**
* Mass. Dept. of Education (2004), “2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results.” ** Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (2005), “Confronting the Crisis,”
LGBTQ domestic violence is a big problem in DC. More than ¾ of the cases handled by the GLUU are DV related. An estimated 75-80% of the cases handled by the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the D.C. Police Department involve intimate partner violence.
Interview with Sgt. Brett Parsons, then director of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, July 28, 2006.
About a quarter of all LGBTQ relationships include abuse. There has yet to be a fully comprehensive study of LGBTQ domestic violence, but many studies show that somewhere between 20%-35% of LGBTQ relationships include abuse, depending on the definition of domestic violence used.* This is the same rate as seen in heterosexual relationships. The prevalence of abuse for people who identify as transgender or intersex is likely much higher. The Survivor Project survey of transgender and intersex individuals found that 50% of respondents had been raped or assaulted by a romantic partner.
* For example, see Lundy, S. 'Abuse That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Assisting Victims of Lesbian and Gay Domestic Violence in Massachusetts', (Winter 1993) 28 New England Law Review 273.
Survivor Project, “Gender, Violence, and Resource Access Survey,” 1998.