Celebrating Pride Month: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Survivors of Abuse
A Message from the Executive Director, Megan Hennessey

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the resilience and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is also a reminder of the ongoing need to support those who face additional hurdles in their journey toward healing.

It is a time to honor healthy relationships in the LGBTQIA+ community and uplift the love and commitment that exists in these relationships, recognizing the joy they bring. Healthy relationships serve as a powerful counter-narrative to the challenges often highlighted, showcasing the positive aspects of LGBTQIA+ lives and affirming their right to happiness and mutual respect. By celebrating these relationships, we not only honor the resilience and courage of those in the LGBTQIA+ community but also highlight the importance of love, understanding, and support in overcoming adversity. We believe in fostering these healthy dynamics by providing resources and creating safe spaces where LGBTQIA+ individuals can thrive in their relationships. This celebration is not just about the absence of violence but the presence of genuine care, support, and equality, setting a standard for what all relationships should aspire to be.

As we celebrate Pride Month, it is also critical that we recognize the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. At Resilience, we are committed to standing with all survivors, recognizing their experiences, and advocating for their safety and well-being. Understanding these challenges and barriers is a crucial step toward creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

LGBTQIA+ individuals experience domestic violence at rates equal to or even higher than their heterosexual counterparts. Recent studies reveal that 43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have endured rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Similarly, 26% of gay men and 37.3% of bisexual men report experiencing such violence. And these are just the reported numbers.

Many survivors encounter significant barriers when attempting to leave an abusive relationship or seek support after an assault. But survivors in the LGBTQIA+ community can face a unique set of challenges, including fear of discrimination, societal stigmas, and a lack of targeted support services, all of which profoundly impact their healing journey.

For instance, one form of abuse uniquely used within LGBTQIA+ relationships is the threat of “outing” a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This tactic can prevent survivors from seeking help due to fear of rejection or further victimization. The risk for transgender individuals is even greater, facing things like being misgendered or deadnamed, or heightened concerns of physical violence.

LGBTQIA+ survivors have historically faced ineffective or victimizing legal responses when reporting abuse, leading to mistrust in authorities. This lack of faith in the legal system, combined with concerns about homophobia or transphobia from service providers, leaves many survivors feeling isolated and unsupported. It is imperative that domestic violence shelters and support services evolve to become more inclusive, ensuring that all survivors, regardless of their identity, feel safe and welcomed.

At Resilience, our goal is to break down these barriers. We provide comprehensive support services for all survivors, meeting them where they are. Our team is trained to understand and address the unique dynamics of LGBTQIA+ intimate partner violence. We work to create a safe space where all survivors can find the help they need without fear of judgment or discrimination.

We stand in solidarity with all survivors, by advocating for a world where everyone can live free from violence and fear. Together, we can create a future where love and respect are the norms, and every survivor is met with compassion and support.


Source: https://www.hrc.org/resources/understanding-intimate-partner-violence-in-the-lgbtq-community