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Domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships
Domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships is as prevalent as in straight relationships, and cases have spiked since the pandemic. Here’s how to spot domestic and financial abuse and what to do. Plus, share with someone who needs this free copy of the 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life.
Signs of domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships:
Signs of domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships
Is domestic abuse more or less common in the queer community?
Domestic abuse in the LGBTQ community isn’t talked about a whole lot. On episode 21 of the Queer Money®, we’re visited by Brynne Conroy of Femme Frugality. Domestic abuse is an issue in our community, and we all agree that it’s not talked about enough, in part, to “protect” the LGBTQ from more scrutiny.
Despite our fears of scrutiny, domestic abuse within the community is something the community must talk about – because it’s a problem and because it’s not right.
Domestic violence, defined here as physical violence, stalking or rape effects:
- 26% of gay men
- 37% of bisexual men
- 44% of lesbian women
- 61% of bisexual women
Yet, fewer than 5% of LGBTQ people who experience domestic violence seek protective orders against abusive partners.
Physical violence, stalking and rape, though, aren’t the only forms of domestic abuse. There’s also emotion, verbal and financial abuse. Much of our time with Brynne centered around financial abuse because financial abuse is an insidious form of domestic abuse that’s not talked about much.
Oftentimes, financial abuse can be dismissed as “just how it’s done,” such as “managing money isn’t a women’s responsibility,” or “the breadwinner handles all the finances.” These simply aren’t true.
7 signs of domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships are:
- Gives you an allowance or budgets without your input
- Blocks you from accounts, including your own
- Monitors your spending more to control you than manage the money
- Applies for debt or other financial products in your name
- Sabotages your career or ability to earn an income
- Makes you pay for their lifestyle – pays for the roof over their head, the food on their table, the clothes on their back
- Steals your money
One of the other challenges that the LGBTQ community faces with regard to domestic abuse, in addition to avoiding it so as to protect the community, is that many of the resources to help those who suffer from domestic violence are religious-based. Thus, many of these organizations will deny or provide inadequate, non-affirming support to LGBTQ victims of domestic abuse.
They’re likely to also push from some form of conversion therapy if only your denial of your sexual orientation or gender identity for your “salvation”.
Where’s can LGBTQ folks of domestic abuse turn for adequate and affirming help:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: https://www.thehotline.org/
Domestic violence in the queer community
The Human Rights Campaign reports, using the National Violence Against Women Survey as a source, that “Among women who reported cohabiting with a female partner at some point in their lifetime. 39.2 percent had experienced rape, physical assault or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 21.7 percent of women who had cohabited with men only.
Among men who had cohabited with same-sex partners, 23.1 percent had experienced rape, physical assault or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 7.4 percent of men who had cohabited with women only.”
The obscurity of domestic violence
We usually think of domestic abuse as physical or sexual violence, but there’s an emotional and often obscure aspect of domestic abuse. Domestic violence can start with or only include gaslighting and seemingly mild forms of manipulation to make a victim conform their opinions to the abuser’s opinions. There’s also financial abuse, which robs a victim of economic power.
Because of the breadth of the effects of financial abuse and because we and Brynne are personal finance experts, we talk about this strain of domestic abuse and recourse extensively. Studies from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that between 94% and 99% of all abuse includes financial abuse.
Talk with a domestic abuse counselor
As we say above and on the show, all three of us are personal finance experts. None of us are experts on domestic violence. If you sense that your relationship is becoming or is abusive and especially if you plan to leave an abusive relationship, talk with a domestic abuse counselor.
Brynne’s and our best recommendation for the most direct resource for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations regardless of where you reside is the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Watch as we dig deeper into domestic and financial abuse in gay relationships:
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We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys (www.debtfreeguys.com) and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.
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