The Faces of Domestic Violence: Men, Women of Color, LGBTQIA+, Veterans & Active-Duty Military, People with Disabilities
Unfortunately, domestic violence does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or other factors. However, there are certain groups of people who have been underserved and at times overlooked. These groups include men, women of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, veterans/active-duty military personnel, and people with disabilities.
While it is often thought that only women can be victims of domestic violence that is not the case. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 4 men will be a victim of some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. This includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. While it is less common for men to be victims of domestic violence than women, it does happen—and it needs to be talked about more.
Women of Color
Women of color are also at a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African American women are 3 times more likely to be killed by a partner than white women. Native American and Alaska Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a partner than white women. And Hispanic women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by a partner than white women. In addition to being more likely to be killed by a partner, women of color are also more likely to experience other forms of domestic violence, such as sexual assault and stalking.
The CDC also reports that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA+) are at an increased risk for all forms of domestic violence. This includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. In fact, gay men are 3 times more likely than straight men to experience rape or assault at the hands of a partner. Transgender individuals are also at a higher risk; according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), 64% of transgender people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Veterans & Active-Duty Military Personnel
Veterans and active-duty military personnel are also at an increased risk of experiencing domestic violence. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to experience intimate partner violence. And active-duty military personnel are 1.5 times more likely than civilians to experience intimate partner violence. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this increased risk, including PTSD and other mental health issues, alcohol abuse/misuse, and being away from family and friends for long periods of time.
People with Disabilities
Finally, people with disabilities are also more likely to be victims of domestic violence than those without disabilities. According to the CDC, people with disabilities are 2 times more likely than people without disabilities to experience domestic violence—and this includes all forms of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this increased risk, including isolation, financial dependence, and communication barriers.
Remember: if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, help is available. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 . You can also visit their website at www.thehotline. org or www.slidfnd.org
I hope this has helped raise awareness about some underserved and overlooked groups who are at an increased risk of experiencing Domestic Violence.