What happens when the person charged with domestic violence and his or her partner have a same-sex relationship? According to Frontiers in Psychology, researchers have studied intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships less frequently than heterosexual domestic violence, but new studies are revealing its prevalence and effects.
Now, researchers believe that homosexual and bisexual couples are more likely to suffer from all forms of abuse than heterosexual couples, in part due to the unique stressors that same-sex partners are subject to.
Same-sex partners who are extremely alert to the extent that they are the focus of stereotypes are more likely to perpetrate and suffer domestic abuse. Their belief in the stereotype status causes them to be hypersensitive to the ways that the stigmas affect their life experiences, causing them greater stress within their relationships.
Whether or not a person identifies as a homosexual or bisexual, he or she may still experience internalized homophobia, which can lead to intimate partner violence. These partners may also have individual experiences that have led them to view themselves and others like themselves negatively.
Substance use and mental health
Depression and use of substances are common among those in the LGBT community, and these factors often lead to violence and emotional abuse in any setting.
Less access to help
Those who suffer from these stressors are less likely to seek help with dealing with their issues than heterosexual individuals. The Mayo Clinic points out that those involved in intimate partner violence may fear that disclosing their sexual orientation will result in a lack of fair treatment from health care and mental health providers, as well as bias in the legal system. However, those who face charges of domestic violence should not hesitate to defend themselves.