Domestic Violence Series: Does it Affect Same-Sex Couples?
As we explained in the last part of this series, domestic violence is universal. It can happen to someone across the world just as it can in your neighbor’s home. It doesn’t matter what race you are or what religion you believe in. And it doesn’t matter who you love.
According to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic violence in same-sex couples happens just as often as those in heterosexual relationships. A year later, a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that domestic violence in same-sex couples is actually higher than for opposite-sex couples.
According to one of the authors of the study, one of the reasons for the higher numbers is because of the minority stress model – an idea that as being part of a minority class, you have additional stress put upon you than someone from the majority.
Unfortunately, many of these cases are not reported to the police. The study found that domestic violence victims in these situations are more reluctant to report the abuse for fear of being outed to the authorities.
There is also the feeling of helplessness among these victims, much like anyone who suffers intimate partner abuse. There is fear, shame, or don’t even realize there’s a problem. Same-sex domestic violence victims also fear that by reporting the abuse it can harm the LGBT community as a whole.
So is there any help for same-sex domestic violence victims? According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there are organizations that can help. But it’s important to know what your legal options are a domestic violence victim. You will need the same protections as anyone else in your situation. You will need a restraining order against your abuser. If you have children, you will need to ask for child custody and set up child support. And, if necessary, you may need to press charges against your attacker.
If you live in Jersey City and experience domestic violence in your relationship, get legal help today. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.