For People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and Transgender (LGBQ/T)
Wherever you are at in your relationship or your life, you deserve a healthy and safe relationship and community. All too often, LGBQ/T folks are invisible victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. The fact is that sexual and domestic violence occurs in 25-33% of lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships – approximately the same rate as in heterosexual relationships. The prevalence of abuse for people who identify as transgender or intersex is likely much higher. In addition to the sexual and domestic violence that occurs within relationships, the LGBQ/T community is often the target of violence by others because of their sexual and gender identity.
You are not alone – we hear you, we see you, and we want to help.
You May Feel
If you are in an unhealthy relationship, involved with someone who is abusive, or have been sexually assaulted, you may feel:
Alone, scared, depressed and confused
Worried that if you speak to someone about the abuse that you’ll be outed to family, friends and co-workers
Anxious about being believed or taken seriously if you reach out for help to a program, the police, a health care provider, landlord, teacher or clergy
Worried that if you leave your partner you will lose your friends or community
Afraid your friends or community will take your partner’s side
When you contact a sexual or domestic violence program, you can make connections to other victims and survivors struggling with similar concerns. You will also find out more about resources and your rights.
Things You Should Know
- Abuse is never mutual.
- Abuse is not the same as consensual sexual behavior, including BDSM.
- Under Massachusetts law, people of any gender, gender identity or sexual orientation are protected under all sexual abuse laws and can get protection orders against partners, dates, wives/husbands, boyfriends/girlfriends or roommates who abuse them or against someone who has stalked or sexually assaulted them.
- Sexual and domestic violence programs are also available to victims of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
For Help and More Information
Want to talk to someone about your own safety or about someone you care about? There are several programs in Massachusetts and around the country that specialize in providing services for LGBQ/T victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. A trained advocate is available to discuss your needs, help you identify support services, shelters, and other resources, and refer you to services for both sexual and domestic violence.
A Massachusetts-based organization, The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, their work aims to create a world where all people are free from oppression. In addition to organizing, education, training and policy work, The Network/La Red also provides direct services.
- English/Spanish Bilingual hotline
- Emergency shelter/safe home
- Support group
- Safety Planning
- Referrals available including legal services
- Interpreters provided free of charge
Fenway Violence Recovery Program
toll-free (800) 834-3242
A Boston-based program, Fenway’s Violence recovery Program provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) victims of bias crime, domestic violence, sexual assault and police misconduct.
- Hours: 9-5 EST
- Legal Advocacy
- Support groups for battered lesbians and gay men
- Mental health services (fee charged)
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
NCAVP is a national coalition of organizations that focus on violence committed within and against LGBTQ communities including domestic violence, sexual assault, pick up crimes, and hate crimes. You can find a service provider near you in the U.S. and Canada through the NCAVP website. NCAVP is also a clearinghouse of information on violence against and within LGBT communities including annual reports on LGBT domestic violence and sexual assault.
Survivor Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of intersex and trans survivors of domestic and sexual violence through caring action, education and expanding access to resources and to opportunities for action. Although they are located in Portland, they do not provide direct services but, they offer referrals nation-wide. The Survivor Project has conducted extensive research and materials related to intersex and trans survivors, all available on their website.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
The NRCDV develops and disseminates information packets that address a range of domestic violence issues, including one titled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Communities and Domestic Violence: Information and Resources.”
FORGE (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression)
FORGE is a national education, advocacy, and support umbrella organization that provides victim services to persons who identify as transgender. It also offers training and technical assistance to the sexual assault service providers who serve this population.
Show Me Love DC!
Show Me Love DC! is an OVC-supported campaign developed by Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE) that promotes healthy relationships and provides resources for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence.
Office for Victims of Crime
Housed within the Office of Justice Programs within the Department of Justice, the Office for Victims of Crimes has a variety of resources and information for LGBTQQI victims and survivors. Two specific items are the Hate and Bias Crimes section of the OVC Web site and the transcript of the June 2009 Web Forum Guest Host Session which features a discussion between victim service providers and experts in the field specifically on Working With LGBTIQ Survivors of Violence.