LGBTQ Relationships and Abuse

National Domestic Violence Hotline

LGBTQ Relationships and Abuse

Approximately 23 percent of LGBTQ men and 50 percent of LGBTQ women experience abuse from their intimate partners (VAWNET). This means that members of the LGBTQ community are slightly more likely to experience abuse than straight couples.

Same-sex partners who are abusive and controlling use all the same tactics to gain power & control in relationships as heterosexual abusive partners – physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, financial control, isolation, etc. But same-sex partners who are abusive also reinforce their tactics that maintain power & control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in a same-sex relationship.

Same-sex abusive partners use discrimination and rejection to control their partners, and may threaten to ‘out’ them to family members, employers, community members.

• Survivors may experience incredible isolation in LGBTQ relationships that are abusive. Friends or family may have rejected them, distanced themselves or made unsupportive, homophobic statements when the survivor came out or talked about their relationships.
• It may be hard for someone who is LGBTQ to recognize that their relationship is abusive, especially if it is their first time being in a same-sex couple. They may simply think that this is what all same-sex relationships look like because they don’t have the experience to tell them otherwise. This misconception may also be encouraged by their abusive partner.
• Some legal remedies that are available to heterosexual survivors are not available to gay, lesbian, trans or bi survivors. Because some states do not legally recognize same-sex relationships, survivors may be unable to seek protective orders. Same-sex survivors who are immigrants are unable to self-petition under VAWA.

If you are in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship and not sure where you can get support, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here 24/7 and serve everyone affected by domestic violence.

We can help connect you to local programs, including some, like these, that specifically serve the LGBTQ survivors of partner abuse:

Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse
Seattle, WA

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project
Cambridge, MA

The Network la Red
Boston, MA

New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
New York, NY

Comment section

18 replies
  1. I have violated as a domestic violence attack assault me gunshot my leg disrat my bone for low abdomen and sex drugs insist into me distortion ok my private part by radiation throu the gun shot and shot of abdomen by net within gulf by endocrin system of abdomen net wich send e shot by exhusb jenifer musher and other people who are left anonymous and confidential but abused me thieft my identity stalking me stolen my diploma and use my name for billing Medicare even illegal and not lawfull but violate me and abuse and financial abuse by stolen legislative package from legislative office of new York state and from me stolen my daughter and kid amp and abuse and now new hit make plot as husband new appartm take out from me plus money from bank account from purse cashe fro student loan from credit card and baking email and servises of land line phone cable tvand intern and enter appart when iwas not home and riberty me and put me unconscious to crime and riberty and physically abuse se assault and violate me inter to heart charge my heart big power and made shock on me as musher German ethically and exhusband under drugs involve please help to end crime on me and gossip as musher doing

  2. Berta,
    Thank you for contacting our blog. I’m not sure I understand what it is you are sharing about abuse, but if you’d like, you are always welcome to call and talk with someone at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are 24/7 and are available at 1-800-799-7233.


  3. Hi Monique,
    We received your post but due to confidentiality and safety concerns, we are not able to keep it up. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and it sounds like you are in a very scary situation. I’m really glad that you contacted us here. If you can call us at 1-800-799-7233 we can talk with you about the specifics of your situation and help you safety plan and connect with local resources. Advocates are available 24/7 and we are confidential and anonymous. You might consider using a friend’s phone, neighbor’s phone or public phone. You deserve to be safe and so does your family.

    Thank you for reaching out to our Share Your Voice Blog community,


  4. Me amd my girlfriend got into an arguement,then it got physical, I hurt on accident.she is so abusive to me cause of our past. I feel horrible and depressed. I need help please. I do so much and I feel so hurt

  5. Steven,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It takes a lot of strength to reach out for help. When you get safe chance, I would encourage you to call and speak with an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate could talk to you about what’s going on in your relationship, and also see what local resources are available for support.


  6. I just moved in with my boyfriend and I love him but sometimes he is really bipolar and he gets anger and he hits and throw things at me and he keeps on pressuring me to have sex with him what should I do?

  7. Hi Hayden,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It takes a lot of courage to talk about what’s going on. No matter how much you love someone, they never have the right to threaten you, or pressure you to have sex or do something you don’t want to do. It sounds like things can get really scary at home for you. You can call our Hotline anytime (24/7) that it’s safe to talk and you have privacy. Our number is 1(800)799.7233 and we’re here to listen, and are confidential and anonymous. You may also find some helpful info at http://www.loveisrespect.org, the National Dating Abuse Helpline’s website.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  8. I am pretty sure my best friend is in an abusive relationship, and I want to find a way to help him without being pushy. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach the situation? Do you know of any good LGBT resources in the Sacramento area? Thank you!

  9. Sara,

    Thank you so much for being there for your friend and seeking out help for him. If you call out 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-7233, we can definitely provide you with resources in the Sacramento area that may be helpful for your friend. Additionally, we are also here to help you and can discuss ways that you can be able be a help and provide support to him. When someone is experiencing abuse, the support of loving friends can really make a huge difference in their lives. If you have a chance please read our webpage about “How you can help a friend or family member” at this link: https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/ . Call us, and Thank you!

    Hotline Advocate MK

  10. Dear Miriam,

    I’m sorry that you are going through such a violent time in your relationship. Please call us if you would like to talk about your experience and brainstorm the options you have. The number to the National Domestic Violence hotline is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  11. I am not sure if i am even looking in the right place? My sister had let her son go out of state for about five months she filled out a temporary guardianship just till February now they wont give him back. I am afraid that they are going to take him back out of state. I did call the portland police so they can help her get her son back and they told her they can not take the child from them because we do not have anything proving it is her son or anything signed by a judge saying its her son. Please help me find away to get him back home with his brothers and sisters.

  12. Hi Britain,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your sister are going through such a difficult situation right now. While we can’t provide any legal advice, we are happy to talk through your situation with you and provide a listening ear, and we can refer you to some legal programs that may be able to assist you and answer some of your questions in more detail. Please call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at http://www.thehotline.org from 7 AM-2 AM CST. Also, this website might be helpful since it provides legal info searchable by state – http://womenslaw.org.

    Hotline Advocate AC

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