Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships

same-sex, Rolling Meadows domestic abuse attorneysDomestic violence is a rather broad legal term that includes a variety of abusive behavior, including but not limited to assault, battery, stalking, intimidation, or sexual coercion. Such actions are considered to be domestic violence when they are committed by a person against a romantic partner, family members, or members of the same household. While male-against-female violence is the most commonly discussed type of domestic abuse, the reality is that both men and women can be victims, and both men and women can commit acts of domestic violence.

Federal estimates indicate that nearly 20 individuals are physically abused by a romantic partner in the United States every minute. Over the course of a year, this translates to more than 10 million instances of victimization. It is estimated that one in three women and one in four men have experienced some type of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at least once in their lives.

An Often-Ignored Problem

When most people talk about domestic violence—even in hypothetical scenarios—they usually portray the victim as a heterosexual woman. While this is not an uncommon occurrence, it is far from the only possible situation. Men can be victims of domestic violence as well, and victims are not necessarily heterosexual. In fact, a recent study conducted at Northwest University Feinberg School of Medicine indicates that domestic abuse in same-sex relationships is actually more prevalent than in heterosexual relationships.

Co-author of the study Richard Carroll suggests that the stresses of minority status could be one reason for increased rates of violent behavior. He points to external factors, “like discrimination and violence against gays,” as well as internal factors, “such as internalized negative attitudes about homosexuality.”

It is an unfortunate reality that some victims of domestic violence committed by a same-sex partner do not report abusive behavior because they are worried about being outed as a result of taking action. They may not be ready for their for their family members, friends, or colleagues to know that they are in a same-sex relationship. Many are concerned that being outed will negatively affect other relationships and could lead to discrimination. In other cases, a victim may allow the abuse to continue—much as in an opposite-sex relationship—because he or she believes that the abuse is deserved as a result of low self-esteem and internalized negative opinions of themselves.

Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence?

Regardless of your relationship status or sexual orientation, you do not deserve to be abused by a romantic partner. If you have been a victim of intimate partner violence, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows domestic violence attorney to get the help you need. Call 847-253-3100 for a free, confidential consultation at Cosley Law Office today.



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