When the average person pictures domestic violence, they picture a man hurting a woman. In recent years, more attention has been paid to the many men who are the victims of domestic violence at the hands of their female partners. However, there is still one common form of domestic violence that is rarely talked about: Domestic violence in same-sex relationships.
Surprising Findings of Domestic Violence Amongst Same-Sex Couples
Studies have shown that not only may there be more instances of violence within same-sex couples compared to heterosexual couples, but female same-sex relationships may have higher domestic violence rates than gay men. This may surprise people, but remember that women generally have a one in three chance of being the victim of violence by their partner while men have a one in four chance. It stands to reason that any relationship a woman is in, she is at a higher risk of being a victim.
The Statistics Are Startling
There are two studies that should be considered when determining same-sex domestic violence rates. First, a study by the National Violence Against Women Committee finds that more than 35% of women living within a same-sex relationship have experienced some type of physical harm. Compare this to 20.4% of men who are in same-sex relationships. Then consider that in heterosexual relationships, 7.1% of men say they have been the victim of violence while 20.4% of women say they have.
The second study is by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who found that lifetime violent acts for lesbian are 43.8%, 61.1% for bisexual women, and 35% for heterosexual women. Men do not have it much better with 26% of gay men reporting they have been the victim of intimate partner violence, 37.3% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men.
The Reasons This Information Has Been Hidden
While there is plenty of time spent arresting and prosecuting those who are accused of domestic violence in a heterosexual relationship, this is not as likely in a same-sex relationship. Why is that? Experts point to a few reasons. First, it may just be cultural bias. It may also be that when two men in a relationship get into a fight, the police charge it as assault and battery without considering the fact that they are in a romantic relationship.
Why does any of this matter if you have been charged with domestic violence? It is just one example of how nuanced these cases can be. If you have made criminal threats, stalked, or otherwise become a danger to your partner or previous partner, it may be that you did not realize how you were making them feel. It is worth talking to an experienced domestic violence attorney to determine what your options are. You can call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a consultation.