by: Megan Peterson (she/they), Domestic Violence Primary Prevention Advocate, Peace River Center Victim Services
Everyone regardless of their gender identities or sexual orientation deserves to live a life free from abuse.
Summary: Peace River Center Victim Services is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and services to survivors who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. We help survivors of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and any other identities.
Domestic Violence and the LGBTQIA2+ Community
Often the word “survivor” brings to mind a young, innocent-looking, blonde, white woman who seems as though she has done nothing wrong. Even more alarmingly the word “abuser” does not bring any particular person to mind, just an idea that there are evil people out there.
The truth paints a different picture; four out of 10 women, one out of 10 men, and over 50 percent of people outside of the gender binary experience domestic violence at least once in their lifetimes. These survivors expand every race, ethnicity, financial status, religion, and sexual orientation. People with multiple marginalized identities become even more vulnerable to experiencing violence and this includes people in the LGBTQIA2+ community.
Domestic violence affects thousands of people a day and has nothing to do with the survivor. Abuse can look many different ways whether it is physical violence, emotional or mental abuse, financial control, or sexual violence. Relationships should never be violent and people should always treat one another with respect and kindness. If you think you or a loved one may be a survivor you can reach out and speak with an advocate over the phone at 863.413.2700, this is a free and anonymous service.
Survivors who are also part of the LGBTQIA2+ community face specific challenges. Peace River Center Victim Services is committed to being a center that is safe for all survivors and qualified to navigate specific dynamics that survivors of this community may face.
While in general domestic violence affects the LGBTQIA2+ community at similar rates to the larger population we do know that Trans people are more likely to experience all types of violence and Bisexual people are more likely to be harmed than their straight, Gay, or Lesbian counterparts. In addition to this increased chance of violence, LGBTQIA2+ people can experience specific types of abuse such as:
- being ‘outed’
- inability to safely receive help from law enforcement
- trouble identifying abuse because of lack of resources and education
When someone is ‘outed’ their sexual orientation and/or gender identity is forcibly revealed to people who they were not comfortable disclosing this information to. Often people choose not to disclose such identities for fear of violence or security and being ‘outed’ can result in homelessness, higher risk for self-harm, isolation, or financial insecurity among other things. A member of the LGBTQIA2+ may be fearful of calling the police or searching out other services if they are experiencing violence because they do not know how the officer or case worker will feel about same-sex relationships, whether their case will be taken seriously, or if they may be ‘outed’ after coming forward. Please know you can reach out to a center like Peace River Center Victim Services to receive inclusive and confidential emergency assistance without fear of discrimination or ‘outing’. All of our services are free and confidential.
Peace River Center Believes You, Accepts You, and Supports You
We believe you. We value your identity. You are safe and respected here. Our compassionate victim services advocates provide trauma-informed services and advocacy for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and any other identities. Peace River Center Victim Services provides the following services.