But abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships also reinforce their tactics that maintain power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQ relationship.
Tactics of Power & Control
- “Outing” a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships may threaten to ‘out’ victims to family members, employers, community members and others.
- Saying that no one will help the victim because s/he is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or that for this reason, the partner “deserves” the abuse.
- Justifying the abuse with the notion that a partner is not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (i.e. the victim may once have had/may still have relationships, or express a gender identity, inconsistent with the abuser’s definitions of these terms). This can be used both as a tool in verbal and emotional abuse as well as to further the isolation of a victim from the community.
- Monopolizing support resources through an abusive partner’s manipulation of friends and family supports and generating sympathy and trust in order to cut off these resources to the victim. This is a particular issue to members of the LGBTQ community where they may be fewer specific resources, neighborhoods or social outlets.
- Portraying the violence as mutual and even consensual, or as an expression of masculinity or some other “desirable” trait.