Domestic abuse, domestic violence, or intimate partner violence is (often a pattern of) behaviour in intimate relationships that is used for power or control over the survivor. Domestic abuse can occur in any type of relationship, among any group, regardless of age, race, gender, LGBTQ+ identity, or any other factors. Abuse can take emotional, psychological, physical, and economic forms.

Here are some verbal and physical actions that an abusive partner or family member may take against a survivor:

  • Name-calling, humiliation, criticizing 
  • Financial control
  • Physical violence (hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, punching, biting)
  • Stalking and/or harassing
  • Gaslighting (manipulating their partner or family member into questioning their own sanity and/or reality)
  • Using substances (e.g., alcohol) to control or harm 
  • Limiting/controlling movement or monitoring whereabouts and communication with others (e.g., family, friends, work, education)
  • Isolating their family member or partner from their friends and family

LGBTQ+ people face some specific forms of abuse which leverage a person’s gender identity or sexuality against them. These can include:

  • Intentionally using the wrong pronouns 
  • Isolating their partner or family member from the LGBTQ+ community
  • Controlling their partner or family member with their hormones/gender-affirming medication
  • Trying to change or repress LGBTQ+ identity(ies)
  • Denying that domestic abuse occurs in intimate LGBTQ+ relationships 
  • Preventing access to LGBTQ+ spaces and events
  • Forcing someone into conversion therapy
  • Homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic hate speech

If you think you might be experiencing domestic abuse or violence, you can call the National LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 999 5428 or contact Galop, the LGBTQ+ anti violence charity.