February 2012

Juliana Williamson writes “Domestic Partner Violence in Same-Sex Relationships: What Is It and What Can We Do to Help?” for Family Law News


Domestic violence does not discriminate;it affects people of all races, economic classes, cultures,genders, religions, education, geographical areas, and sexual orientation.

Although often perceived as a heterosexual problem, most often conjuring up the image of a battered woman emotionally and physically abused by a violent husband, the LGBTQ community is just as, if not more, likely to be affected by domestic violence. Government and community-based agencies provide limited social services unique to victims of same-sex domestic violence, such as shelters, therapy and psychological assistance, and sexual health education and awareness programs. LGBTQ-specific organizations lack the funding to fully implement programs necessary to assist the thousands of women and men who are affected by domestic violence in same-sex relationships.