Unfortunately, dating abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault impact the LGBTQ+ Community at higher rates than heterosexual/cysgender people. The Domestic Violence Network is committed to serving all people and leading the community to this end.
In 2014, the Domestic Violence Network led the Service Equality Task Force (SET) to create an endorsement process for agencies to undergo in order to be “ready to serve” all people. Curriculum for this program was developed with the support of Indy Pride, Inc., Open for Service, and the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. To learn more of the endorsement process, please visit the SET page.
Maybe it’s because the LGBTQ+ Community has been marginalized and ostracized from society until recent years or maybe it’s because queer people have few healthy relationship role models. For whatever reason, our community experiences emotional, physical, and sexual violence at much higher rates than heterosexual people. Those who experience violence may accept abuse as part of a relationship or, worse, they accept abuse because they do not believe they deserve better.
When people think of abusive relationships, often they think it’s abusive all the time. While that is a reality for some, most experience violence in small bursts. Like most relationships, abusive ones start out great with real intimacy, talking late into the night, and a strong sense of connection. But, affection turns to jealousy which turns into control which turns into abuse. A partner might tenderly ask, “what are you doing tonight?” and over time, the tenderness fades and becomes an accusation. Questions about who you are texting and how you spend your time dominate the relationship and transform a romance into a nightmare.
If there is one thing abusers are good at, it’s blaming others for their behavior. If they scream in a jealous rage, it’s because you liked someone’s pic or smiled at a cashier. If they throw the lamp against the wall, it’s because you “disrespected” them. The excuses keep coming in order to justify their behavior. Though you may not be perfect, their violence is not your fault.
Most people think of sexual abuse as rape or assault, which is a major factor. However, sexual abuse also includes denying a partner the use of contraceptives to prevent disease or pregnancy. For some who experience violence, they report being intentionally infected with HIV by an abuser as a way to maintain power and control over them. Not only do abusers infect their partners, they then threaten to tell others their HIV status.
In the past year, several local agencies have updated their policies, procedures, and received training on serving the LGBTQ+ community. For those who experience physical abuse, sexual violence, and emotional trauma, there are agencies ready to serve. These agencies have intentionally sought training and guidance on how to best serve the community. They are compassionate and eager to help.
Please use the search tool to find agencies who are Ready to Serve.