Each June, we recognize both Pride Month and Father’s Day. While women are explicitly identified in our name as people we serve, the “families” portion of our name is equally important and includes anyone—truly, anyone—who is affected by intimate partner or sexual violence. This includes not only children but men and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
First, as Pride Month is celebrated more broadly across the globe every year, and people in the LGBTQ+ community are increasingly finding greater love, acceptance, and support, we believe it’s important to share information about The Center’s role as an ally, advocate, and supporter for those in non-heterosexual relationships.
Did you know that LGBTQ+ members experience intimate partner violence at equal or even higher rates than people in heterosexual relationships? In addition to physical violence, abuse in LBGTQ+ relationships can manifest psychologically, financially, emotionally, and sexually, with perpetrators taking advantage of unique circumstances—such as gender identity and presentation, medical needs, or not being “out”—to threaten, exert control over, and manipulate their partner.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of abuse in the LBGTQ+ community goes unreported because of concerns about being taken seriously, discrimination, bullying, hate crimes, or being outed to friends, family members, or coworkers.
Similarly, though approximately 1 in 10 men in the U.S. experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, they are unlikely to report it. This is primarily due to the misconception that no one will believe them and the societal stereotype that risks them being perceived as weak. But for fathers experiencing abuse, it is critical to seek help to ensure the safety of their children. The Center has supported fathers who have partners struggling with mental health challenges, substance abuse, and other issues that led to violent or manipulative behavior in the home.
We serve anyone who has been or is currently impacted by intimate partner or sexual violence, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. We are a safe, compassionate space for people who need advocates to believe and support them as they seek refuge from abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing any warning signs, remember that no one deserves to feel unsafe or be abused. Call our 24/7 hotline at 1-844-237-2331 to get advice or create a safety plan.