National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer—coming out regarding one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBTQ people. The holiday is observed annually by members of the LGBTQ community on October 11.
Relationship violence occurs at the same rate in LGBTQ relationships as it does in heterosexual relationships.
SHARPP is a Safe Zone for LGBTQ survivors and their allies to come for support and information.
It is estimated that between 25 and 33 percent of LGBTQ relationships include abuse, a rate equal to that of heterosexual relationships. There is a misconception that if violence occurs in an LGBTQ relationship it is mutual fighting and that it does not reflect the same power and control issues as seen in heterosexual relationships, however the abuse is in many ways similar.
What is relationship abuse?
Relationship abuse is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over someone else. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
What are the unique issues faced by LGBTQ survivors?
While many aspects of LGBTQ relationship violence are similar to those experienced by heterosexual victims, it is not in all ways identical. Perpetrators often attempt highly specific forms of abuse based on identity and community dynamics, some of which include:
- “Outing” or threatening to out a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity to family, friends, employers, or in other situations where this may pose a threat.
- Telling the survivor that abusive behavior is a normal part of LGBTQ relationships, or that it cannot be relationship violence because it is occurring between LGBTQ individuals.
- Manipulating friends and family supports and generating sympathy and trust in order to cut off these resources to the survivor.
- Portraying the violence as mutual and even consensual, especially if the partner attempts to defend against it, or as an expression of masculinity or some other “desirable” trait.
- Interfering with hormones their partner is taking to transition, or forcing their partner to transition.
SHARPP is a safe zone for the LGBTQ community at UNH. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you care about, we are here to help. SHARPP is available 24/7 to listen without judgment and to offer information, options, resources and emotional support. All SHARPP services are free and confidential.
- 24/7 Help Line: (603) 862-7233
- Walk-ins are welcomed and no appointment is necessary: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Wolff House (next to Health & Wellness)
- Ask an Advocate: Online support, usually get a response within 24 hours