The Need for Social Change: Challenges Facing
Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer Individuals Seeking
Services for Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence occurs between same-sex relationships as often as heterosexual relationships, however, those involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) relationships are less likely to leave an abusive relationship due to lack of resources, fear of community stigmatization, or because victims feel they will not be believed if help is sought. This paper will show the unique dynamics of same-sex relationships in reference to domestic violence and the need for societal change to address the challenges and barriers to seeking services for victims. By understanding the complexities of these unique relationships, strategies for developing culturally sensitive interventions can be developed.
There are many theories about domestic violence in same-sex relationships, which try to explain the reasons these relationships are different from heterosexual relationships that experience domestic abuse.
Studies have shown that in most cases, abuse in same-sex partner domestic violence is bi-directional; meaning both partners, at some point is the perpetrator and the victim (Bartholemew, Regan, White, & Oram, 2008). This theory makes it difficult for individuals who treat same-sex domestic violence couples to differentiate the role of the individual in the abuse; who is the aggressor and who is the victim (Blasko, Winek, & Bleschke, 2007)?
There has been a rise in the recent trend of domestic violent incidents among gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) couples. Alexander theorizes that the increase is due to the lack of resource services available to the GLBTQ community, because this population does not know where to go for help or how to receive these services the individual stays in the situation and endures the abuse (2002).