LGBTQ Domestic Violence/Abuse: Making Your “Great Escape”

Photo By Don Gillard

Photo By Don Gillard

  Just WHAT is LGBTQ Domestic Violence and Abuse?

      Within the LGBTQ community, domestic violence and abuse is referred to as Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A).  According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, it is the “pattern of behavior used to establish power and control through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence, when one person believes that they are entitled to control another.”  The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs defines it as “a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the abuser or batterer) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor or victim) where there exists an intimate, loving and dependent relationship.”   

    Statistics show that this form of abuse occurs with similar frequency as in heterosexual relationships. Additionally, new research suggests that a greater percentage of LGBTQ individuals are living in fear of an abusive partner than previously thought.  And each year, between 50,000-100,000 lesbians (or more) and as many as 500,000 (or more) gay men are battered, and about one in four LGBTQ relationships/partnerships are abusive in some way.  

    According to psychologists and authors Jeanne Segal and Melinda Smith, “Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only:  to gain and maintain total control over you.  An abuser doesn’t ‘play fair.’  Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her ‘thumb.’  Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.”

    The Network/La Red, whom I’ve interviewed for the Huffington Post Queer Voices, weighs in.  Located in Boston, it is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in the LGBTQ community.  “Abuse is not about violence; it’s about control,” according to the organization.  “You can be just as controlling of someone if you are small—as if you’re large.  It’s about using violence or any other means of gaining and maintaining control.”

Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse 4

    Segal and Smith add, “The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult.  You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.”

Being a Survivor.

    Mr. Wyatt O’Brian Evans has been a victim of Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A).  He is passionate about this critical issue, which tends to be “swept under the rug” because of the stigma attached to it.  

    As a journalist, he has researched and written extensively about IPV/A for print and on line media outlets including Huffington Post Gay Voices, Baltimore Gay Life, BaltimoreOUTLoud, and Wyattevans.com.  As well, he is a motivational speaker on this issue.  

    Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse is one of the major themes of his series of novels entitled, “Nothing Can Tear Us Apart.”  (“RAGE!” is the current installment; “FRENZY!”, the sequel, debuts in October.) 

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) 2015 Report on Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the U.S.   

     This new report examines the experiences of nearly 2,000 survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A) in 14 states.  To download this landmark study, visit:   http://avp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2015_ncavp_lgbtqipvreport.pdf

Resources. 

     The following are some notable IPV/A resources:

  • Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project. 800-832-1901.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline  800-799-SAFE (7233).
  •  The Network/LA Red. P.O. Box 6011, Boston MA 02114.  617-742-4911. www.thenetworklared.org
  • The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV)  5 Thomas Circle N.W., Washington, DC 20005. 202-299-1181. www.dccadv.org.
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) 666 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20003.  (202-543-5566)  www.nnedv.org
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).  One Broadway, Suite B210, Denver CO 80203.  303-839-1852. www.ncadv.org. 
  • Domesticshelters.org
  •  Lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbianhealth/DVResources.htm

 


Let Wyatt O’Brian Evans empower you to make your “Great Escape.”  Mr. Evans is available to conduct Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse Seminars/Workshops for your group, organization, etc.  Click on the Contact Icon on this website.  Email bookings@wyattevans.com.  Phone, 301-300-9996. 

Wyatt’s The Advocate IPV/A Articles:

Wyatt’s Huffington Post IPV/A Articles: