SAFER: Safety Awareness for Every Relationship
Unfortunately, partner violence is just as prevalent and lethal in LGBTQ relationships as it is in heterosexual relationships. Many myths surround violence in these relationships. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning survivors may find it difficult to come forward with details of abuse or may feel that they are not welcome in "traditional" domestic violence centers.
Because of this, the SafePlace Community Education Program initiated the SAFER campaign in October 2009. The campaign originally provided materials in gay-friendly restaurants and businesses including table toppers and brochures that dispelled the myths and provided information to those who may need help. The Community Education department continues to provide education to service providers that serve the LGBTQ community as well as general audiences.
Barriers for LGBTQ Survivors
The isolation that accompanies intimate partner violence can be compounded by being a member of the LGBTQ community in a homophobic society. Silence about partner violence within the LGBTQ community further isolates the survivor, giving more control to the abuser.
Violence in the LGBTQ Community parallels heterosexual intimate partner violence in nature and prevelance, but LGBTQ survivors face additional challenges such as:
The abuser may:
- Threaten to "out" the partner's sexual identity or gender identitity to family, employers, place of worship, police or in child custody disputes in order to maintain control.
- Portray the violence as mutual, especially if the partner tries to defend against it.
- Tell the partner that the violence is a normal part of a LGBTQ relationship.
- Use HIV/AIDS to maintain power and control.
SafePlace offers all services to members of the LGBTQ community including shelter, counseling, hospital advocacy and legal advocacy. If you need help, get more information in the I Need Help section of the website or learn more about our Safety and Healing Programs.
Make a Difference
Violence in LGBTQ relationships is misunderstood and underreported. You can help make a difference by telling your friends, family and colleagues what you know about LGBTQ partner violence and the services SafePlace offers to members of the LGBTQ community.
Learn other ways to Make a Difference in the community and let us know your plans.