LGBTQ Survivors of Violence
LGBTQ survivors often fear to reach out for help due to homophobia or transphobia. These layers of oppression, bigotry, and discrimination complicate a survivor’s healing.
Verity is responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ Communities. While many service providers are not adequately trained to address the unique needs of LGBTQ clients, Verity wants to make it safer for LGBTQ survivors to reach out by providing culturally competent services in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Individual therapy is available.
Special considerations for LGBTQ Survivors
Ongoing abuse occurs in approximately one-third of relationships regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity, or class. Based on several studies in the early 1990′s, partner abuse occurs in 25-33% of LGBTQ relationships, which is roughly equal to the prevalence of heterosexual domestic violence.
The LGBTQ survivor can expect the same range of emotional responses to assault as any heterosexual survivor. However, because of homophobia, discrimination, bigotry, and bias, some issues may negatively impact treatment, impede the healing process, or in some cases, make the situation worse. Individual concerns for the LGBTQ survivor include:
- Insensitivity among social service/health care providers or law enforcement
- Disbelief from friends, family, or providers that the assault or abuse honestly occurred
- A provider or observer’s belief that same-sex violence is “mutually combative”
- A survivor’s guilt or shame because of internalized oppression, homophobia, and transphobia
- A lack of support from friends or family
- A survivor’s fear of putting the LGBTQ community in a bad light
- Survivors’ fear of isolating themselves in an already small and LGBTQ community
- A survivor’s fear of public disclosure and subsequent “coming out of the closet”
Resources for the LGBTQ survivor can seem limited. However, no one should be forced to deal with sexual or relationship violence alone. Sexual orientation should not be a barrier to accessing the resources that do exist; LGBTQ survivors do not need to be further isolated. For more information or resources contact Verity at 545-7273 any time of day or night. We will advocate for your right to access resources and treatment.