COVID-19 and the Increase of Domestic Violence in the LGBTQIA+ Community


COVID-19 and the pandemic has severely affected victims of domestic violence and has made conditions where domestic violence thrives. COVID-19 has led to more isolation and many new stressors, like financial and health worries. In addition, normal social networks that were used as support or self-care have been stopped and which has furthered the isolation of many. Elliott Kozuch from the Human Rights Campaign, explained that “It is expected that rates of intimate partner violence will increase as a result of stay-at-home-orders, yet reporting will significantly decline as victims remain in living situations in which they can’t get safely get help” An increase in domestic violence means that it will heavily impact the LGBTQIA+ community because they experience domestic violence at higher rates. “44% of Lesbians and 61% of Bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of straight women” and 54% of Transgender and Non-Binary people have reported experiencing intimate partner violence (Kozuch). Some of the reasoning behind why this gap is so large between the communities is that “LGBT survivors of this type of violence are put into these situations because power and control differ more than in cisgender or straight relationships” said Brandon Chew, reporter for City Pulse. LGBTQIA+ individuals have always been viewed as different or outsiders in society; it is much easier to have power over people who are used to being viewed in a similar manner.


The higher rates of domestic violence in the LGBTQIA+ community combined with COVID-19 stressors have hit the LGBTQIA+ community hard, especially Trans women. Trans women are usually more financially reliant on a live-in partner and, consequently, the financial stressors of COVID-19 have led to more problems for them (Chew). Financial abuse may have increased over COVID-19, or it might be harder for Trans women to pull together money to find a safe way to leave. Additionally, they might have a harder time finding domestic violence services. Trans people have a much harder time finding stable housing and steady work to begin with, so COVID-19 has amplified their already existing barriers. Domestic violence in the LGBTQIA+ community is a very important issue that is not given enough attention and it has only gotten worse in the past year because of COVID-19. Luckily, there are some ways that can help the LGBTQIA+ community along with other survivors of domestic violence. Joseph McAulay from the Centre for Criminology recommends that there needs to be “both an immediate injection of resources into this sector to expand the scope of services that can be provided to queer victims, and a concerted campaign of public awareness and education of the problem of domestic violence amongst gay and trans people.” The public needs to be more aware of the issue at hand because awareness will help lead to more resources becoming available and it will also mean that victims will be more likely to find help. Survivors and victims need to know that they are not alone and that there are people out there that want to help them. Sources: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/centres-institutes/centre-criminology/blog/2020/07/covid-19-and-lgbt-victims-domestic-abuse

https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/report-shows-lgbtq-people-are-more-likely-to-be-victims-of-interpersonal-vi

https://www.lansingcitypulse.com/stories/rising-domestic-violence-during-pandemic-worries-transgender-community,15498

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