STUDY: Is Domestic Violence On The Rise Among LGBTs—Or Is Reporting Just Better?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a new report released today by the (NCAVP) reveals some shocking statistics about domestic violence in the LGBT and HIV-affected communities.

According to the 2010 Report on Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the U.S., the number of reported incidents has skyrocketed by 38% since 2009.

Other findings include:

  • Increased incidents of physical violence, as opposed to threats, stalking and harassment
  • Less than half of LGBT victims of intimate-partner violence (IPV) who sought an order of protection received one
  • More than a third of survivors were turned away from shelters
  • Survivors show increased reluctance to contact law enforcement

But these disturbing findings—garnered from data reported by anti-violence programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Texas and other states—don’t necessarily mean there’s been a major uptick in the sheer number of assaults.

Susan Holt, the director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s STOP Partner Abuse program says in 2010 her department was finally able to hire a full-time staff member to research and record incidents, which would clearly affect their findings. “The increase in reports of intimate-partner violence during this time demonstrates the tremendous impact that increased funding can have,” Holt explains.

NCAVP, a coalition of 38 anti-violence organizations, also documented six deaths from partner violence in 2010, the same number as in 2009.  But as of the report’s release, the organization has already documented and responded to seven deaths related to LGBT intimate-partner violence for 2011.  “This alarming statistic shows the critical need for intimate-partner violence prevention programs and campaigns,” says Tre’Andre Valentine, the Director of Organizing and Education at the Network/La Red.
Image by Geraint Winlow

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