Domestic Violence in the LGBTQIA+ Community

Peace at Home is here for ALL survivors of domestic violence. Reach out to our help email below for referrals to community resources and direct support.

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All the services provided by Peace at Home Family Shelter are LGBTQIA+ inclusive and affirming. We are here to support and empower ALL survivors of domestic violence by offering:


  • Medical Advocacy to help access insurance, disability benefits and gender affirming health care.

  • Our Legal team can provide referrals for changes in name and gender markers. 
  • Our 24/7 Crisis Hotline at (479) 442-9811.


We also offer:


Crisis chat line
emergency shelter
Housing assistance
Legal Services
Community Education
Counseling Services
Couple Sitting and Holding Hands and Arms Around Each Other 


Domestic violence is not limited to heterosexual relationships and can affect individuals of all sexual orientations and genders. 

Within the LGBTQ+ community, intimate partner violence occurs at a rate equal to or even higher than that of the heterosexual community.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

44% OF Lesbian woMEN AND 

have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women.


have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, as opposed to 29% of heterosexual men.


experience physical intimate partner violence, than those who do not identify as Black.


experience intimate partner violence in public, than those who do not identify as transgender.

More Information

What Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Typically Looks Like
  • Abuser is overly romantic at the beginning of relationship.
  • Jealous and/or controlling behavior (including digital media behavior such as going through their partner's phone without consent).
  • Isolation from friends/family/community.
  • Emotional manipulation or gaslighting (making their partner feel responsible for the abuse).
  • Use of force or physical violence.
  • Verbal threat.
  • Sudden mood swings.
Unique Tools of Abuse in LGBTQIA+ Relationships

There are unique aspects of IPV that may keep LGBTQIA+ folks from seeking help:

  • Othering the abused partner: This is seen particularly in relationships where the abuser self-identifies as heterosexual or cisgender, but the abused partner does not.
    •  One example of a way an abuser may other their partner is by saying things like, "You don't get it, I'm the normal one" or "I don't want people to know I'm dating someone that is LGBTQ+ because I'm not LGBTQ+."
  • Outing: Threatening to reveal or revealing someone's identity to those that don't know before that person is ready. 
  • Verbal abuse attacking a person's identity: The abuser may invalidate a person's identity based on their past "heterosexual" relationships. This can also include derogatory language such as the refusal of using proper pronouns or chosen name to devalue the abused partner.
  • Physical or sexual abuse focused on a person's gender, sexual identity or preferences. 
  • Slut-shaming or judgment around sexual activity: Verbal abuse using this tactic may sound like: 
    • "You've been with so many people before, how will I know that you only want to be with me? I don't trust you" or; 
    •  "Just because you've had polyamorous relationships before doesn't mean I want to sleep with everyone too." 
    • This may also include pressure to engage in sexual activities that their partner is not comfortable with.
Abuse for Individuals who Identify as Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Fluid/Queer
Transgender persons are more likely to experience threats or intimidation, harassment, and police violence within IPV. Some specific forms of abuse may look like: 


  • Using offensive or incorrect pronouns to refer to the transgender/nonbinary partner.
  • Ridiculing the transgender partner's body and/or appearance.
  • Telling the transgender partner that they are not a real man or woman.
  • Ridiculing the transgender partner's identity as "bisexual," "trans," "femme," "butch," "gender queer," etc.
Societal Barriers for Accessing Help
Although the response to LGBTQIA+ survivors of domestic violence is gradually improving, the LGBTQIA+ community is often met with ineffective and victimizing legal responses. 45% of survivors do not report the violence they experience to police because they believe it will not help them. 
There are still several barriers that exist to addressing LGBTQIA+ intimate partner violence:


  • Potential homophobia from staff of service providers, or from non-LGBTQIA+ domestic violence survivors they may come into contact with.
  • Lack of appropriate training regarding LGBTQIA+ domestic violence for service providers.
  • A fear that airing the problems among the LGBTQIA+ population will take away from progress toward equality or fuel anti-LGBTQIA+ bias.
  • Domestic violence shelters are typically female only, and transgender individuals may not be allowed entrance due to their gender/genital/legal status.
  • The dangers associated with "outing" oneself and risking rejection from family, friends, and society.
  • The lack of, or survivors being unaware of, LGBTQIA+ friendly assistance resources.
  • Low levels of confidence in the effectiveness of the legal system for LGBTQIA+ people.
Local Resources

Everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse. If you or someone you love is experiencing intimate partner violence, please call Peace at Home's Emergency Hotline for someone to talk to and receive services. 


Below are some links to other LGBTQ+ resources in Arkansas that can provide additional support. Click on each name to get re-directed to their site:


NWA Equality

Project ARCH

Equality Crew

Cocoon Collective
Transgender Equality Network

Transition Closet


Other Resources and Helpful Guides:

LGBTQIA + Power 

and Control Wheel

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