Protect Yourself Against Same-Sex Domestic Violence
With the increased exposure of same-sex culture into mainstream culture comes a certain openness. This openness allows for same-sex couples to discuss problems they experience, such as domestic violence. Same-sex couples can now seek help through counseling or legal assistance when experiencing domestic violence without needing to worry about being socially stigmatized. Here’s everything you need to know about same-sex domestic violence.
How to Get Help
If you are a victim domestic violence do not hesitate to get help. You may be a victim of abuse without realizing it. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline to seek assistance in leaving an abusive relationship.
If you need a lawyer to represent you during the legal portion of your domestic violence experience, contact a Pride Legal Domestic Abuse Attorney. We’re here to help.
An Unprecedented Legislative Change
Within the past decade, the rights and abilities of the LGBT community have rapidly shifted. The most prominent of legislation to expand LGBT rights, Obergefell v. Hodges, federally legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
With the legalization of same-sex marriage inevitably came more serious same-sex relationships. Same-sex violence, although rare, can cause strain on one’s mental health, relationships, and overall life. This is why it is imperative to know what to do if you are a victim of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Laws in California
In California, domestic violence is legally defined as “abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together)”.
Federal laws exist to protect gay victims of domestic violence. The 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized in 2013 to protect victims of domestic violence in same-sex relationships. The VAWA’s protections include:
- Funding for LGBT organizations hosting victims of domestic violence
- Federal funding for police responses to domestic violence
- Outlawing discrimination in domestic violence care centers
Types of Same-Sex Domestic Violence
Types of domestic violence common amongst same-sex couples include:
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, punching, kicking, etc.
- Psychological abuse, such as threatening
- Sexual violence, such as rape, assault, or unwanted groping
- Withholding resources
Blackmail is especially common amongst the LGBT community. Homosexual partners threaten to reveal their partner’s hidden sexuality to friends, family members, coworkers, or the general public.
Domestic violence often becomes physical in same-sex relationships because homosexual partners are more likely to fight back. When this occurs, law enforcement officials often overlook the possibility of domestic violence and consider the event was “among equals”. Officers dismiss the inherent power imbalance that is common in abusive, same-sex couples.
How common is same-sex domestic violence?
Homosexual couples experience domestic violence at about the same or slightly higher levels than heterosexual couples. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that rates of domestic violence were highest in homosexual men and lowest in lesbian couples.
Due to the sensitivity regarding same-sex domestic violence, it is important for lawmakers, counselors, and lawyers to be mindful when dealing with these cases. Pride Legal’s LGBT and LGBT-friendly attorneys are attuned to the special care and attentiveness needed by LGBT community.
Contact Pride Legal
If you or a loved one has experienced domestic violence, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.