Understanding the Prevalence of Abuse on LGBT People

  • LGBT individuals are more likely to experience discrimination, abuse, and economic hardship due to heteronormative biases in many countries.
  • They may be ostracized by family or friends and lack access to quality health care.
  • Intimate partner violence can cause mental health issues such as depression and PTSD, as well as physical health complications.
  • Governments and societies must create laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination and hold abusers accountable for their actions.
  • Legal remedies such as VAWA in the US can provide protection and help obtain safe housing.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, approximately one in ten LGBTQ individuals who have suffered intimate partner violence endured sexual assault from their partners. Reports also indicate that roughly 50 percent of transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence during their lifetime.

They will also experience some form of verbal abuse in their lives. This is a deeply concerning statistic that deserves to be taken seriously. Here’s a look at why this is happening and what can be done to reduce this abuse.

The Problem With LGBT Discrimination

LGBT people are more likely to experience discrimination and abuse compared to other minority groups in society. This is partly due to heteronormative biases in many countries around the world. LGBT individuals are often not protected under local laws, which leaves them open to abuse without consequence.

Family and Friend Ostracization

They may also face ostracization from family or friends who don’t accept their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can lead to isolation, depression, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.

Two male executives berating a young woman at work.

Discrimination at Work

LGBT individuals may also experience economic discrimination. For example, employers can legally discriminate against LGBT people in some countries. LGBT people may be passed up for promotions or jobs simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Furthermore, many LGBT people lack access to quality healthcare due to a lack of acceptance from medical providers. In some countries, LGBT people may be refused medical services or face discrimination from healthcare providers due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence

LGBT individuals who experience intimate partner violence are more likely to suffer from mental health issues. These issues include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. They are also more likely to experience physical health complications such as chronic pain and fatigue.

Difficulty in Dealing with Abuse

It can also be difficult for LGBT individuals who have experienced intimate partner violence to seek help. They may fear judgment or discrimination from service providers. This is why it’s so important to ensure that all victims of intimate partner violence, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have access to quality support and resources.

Addressing Abusive Behavior

The first step towards reducing the prevalence of abuse against LGBT individuals is to create safe spaces for them within society. This means creating laws and policies that protect them from discrimination or violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It also means educating the community about the unique challenges that LGBT people face daily so that everyone can better understand and empathize with them. Finally, it means holding those who commit acts of violence against members of the LGBT community accountable for their actions.

Smiling people from different backgrounds, races, and orientation.

Culture of Respect and Acceptance

It is also vital to create a culture of respect and acceptance for the LGBT community. This includes educating students about diversity and inclusion in schools, businesses providing non-discrimination policies for their employees, and creating awareness campaigns in the media that promote acceptance. Additionally, it’s essential to have support systems in place for those who have experienced abuse, such as LGBT-friendly counseling services, housing programs, and legal assistance.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Finally, creating an inclusive environment for the LGBT community is crucial in preventing future abuse. This includes introducing anti-discrimination laws, advocating for hate crime legislation, and promoting educational initiatives that teach the importance of acceptance and respect for diversity.

Legal Options

LGBT people who have experienced abuse often feel helpless and isolated, as their legal options for seeking justice may seem limited. However, various legal remedies are available to those who have experienced abuse.


In the United States, the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides LGBT individuals with the same protections as heterosexual victims of abuse, including seeking a restraining order and receiving assistance in obtaining safe housing.

Other Legal Remedies

Other legal remedies may be available depending on the state or jurisdiction where the abuse occurred. For example, some states have laws prohibiting hate crimes against LGBT individuals and/or providing additional protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence. They can work with a reputable personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit. Additionally, many states have laws regarding workplace discrimination that may also provide legal recourse in cases of abuse or discrimination experienced in the workplace.

Abuse against members of the LGBT community is an unfortunate reality that needs to be urgently addressed by governments and societies alike. Society must do its part to create safe spaces for LGBT individuals by enacting laws that protect them from discrimination and hate crimes. Laws should also educate society about their unique challenges and hold abusers accountable for their harmful actions. Only then will it reduce the prevalence of abuse against members of this community and ensure they have equal rights regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.