Domestic violence can and does happen in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships. Lesbian and gay experiences of domestic violence are not always recognised and/or acknowledged by individuals and/or agencies.
As a consequence lesbians and gay men do not always get the help and support which they need to deal with these experiences.
Lesbians and gay men experience domestic violence in the same ways as people in heterosexual relationships. The risks and issues are largely the same.
There are, however, some additional factors for lesbians and gay men, such as: experiences of homophobia from services can prevent them from seeking support; their partner may tell them that the behaviour is ‘normal’ in gay relationships; their partner threatening to ‘out’ them to their family, friends or to services.
Lesbians, gay men and bisexual people can contact the National Domestic Violence Help line or the specialist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender domestic violence help line Broken Rainbow for advice and support but there are currently very few specialist refuges and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients.
Lesbians can use women’s services such as women’s refuges although some may be wary of using generic services for fear of homophobia from either staff or heterosexual service users.
Further sources of help and advice