It’s Pride Month, and rainbow-festooned celebrations are occurring around the world. While LGBTQ+ issues are in the spotlight, we want to celebrate diversity and help everyone be their authentic self. Abuse happens in LGBTQ+ relationships too, and people can face unique challenges due to their minority status. It’s something of a silent issue, but there are resources out there to give people the support and safety they deserve.
People often feel unable or scared to reach out for help due to a variety of factors:
- Isolation from traditional support systems.
- Lack of dedicated organizations to help LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Heteronormative depictions of domestic abuse, which prevent people from recognizing the signs.
On top of threats of physical and emotional abuse, a specific set of issues can arise in abusive LGBTQ+ relationships. Some examples include:
- Fear of isolation from the community for speaking out against a fellow community member.
- Threats of “outing” the victim if their sexual orientation or gender identity is not already publicly known.
- The bullied becoming the bully, as the abuser may have experienced discrimination in the past.
Despite these added barriers, there is lots of information and support to be found.
If you are an LGBTQ+ person experiencing abuse, know that:
- Your experience is valid and you deserve to be heard.
- You are worthy of respect, safety, and love.
- Support is out there. You are not alone.
You can find various national and province-specific LGBTQ+ hotlines at http://www.saravyc.ubc.ca/reports-resources/links/resources-for-trans-youth-allies/crisis-lines-for-lgbtq-youth/
A guide to domestic abuse and trans safety issues (including B.C. resources): http://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Trans_folk_relationship_safety_website_version.pdf
How to support LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing domestic violence: http://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Supporting_LGBTQ_survivors_Digital_Draft_3_MOBILE.pdf