In Colorado, any domestic violence or abuse against an intimate partner is illegal. When an intimate partner exhibits a pattern of behavior that attempts to regulate or control the actions, beliefs or thoughts of their partner, this is domestic abuse, and it affects all sexual orientations and genders. Domestic violence can include physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, and it is just as common in same-sex relationships as heterosexual relationships.
The statistics on domestic violence in the LGBTQ community are harrowing. The following statistics paint a picture of abuse that oftentimes remains hidden and secret.
- Over 43% of those who identify as lesbian and over 61% of those who identify as bisexual suffered physical violence, stalking or rape by an intimate or domestic partner in their life.
- Over 25% of gay males and over 37% of those who identify as bisexual suffered physical violence, stalking or rape by a domestic partner in their life.
- Only 25% of men in same-sex relationships have ever contacted law enforcement after a physical assault by a partner.
- Less than 5% of all LGBTQ victims of domestic violence or intimate partner violence attempted to seek an order of protection from law enforcement.
- Transgender persons are statistically more likely to suffer from domestic or intimate partner violence in public as compared to those in other types of relationships.
- LGBTQ Black/African Americans suffer more domestic violence versus those who are not LGBTQ and Black/African American.
LGBTQ domestic violence, just like domestic violence in any relationship, involves the control that one person has over another in a relationship either physically, emotionally, sexually or financially.
- Physical Domestic Abuse. Any punching, hitting, slapping, biting, or hurting another person in a physical way can be considered domestic violence if it is against an intimate partner.
- Emotional Domestic Abuse. Any action such as attempting to control behavior, jealous fits of rage, controlling when and where the other person goes, demeaning the other person, or other actions of emotional abuse against an intimate partner are considered domestic violence.
- Sexual Domestic Abuse. Any time one intimate partner forces the other to engage in any unwanted sexual acts, it is domestic abuse.
- Financial Domestic Abuse. When one intimate partner regulates the finances of another in a controlling way, it can be considered domestic abuse.
- Unique LGBTQ Domestic Abuse. There are some ways intimate partner violence can be unique to those in LGBTQ relationships. One person can “out” or threaten to “out” the other person, by revealing their sexual orientation without their consent.
Many LGBTQ individuals have suffered emotional stress, depression, and anxiety along with bullying and prejudice throughout their lives, and therefore may be less likely to seek help. Intimate relationships can also commonly involve mutual fault and those accused of domestic violence may be victims themselves. If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense in Colorado, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Moorhead Law Group at 303-447-1400 or online today to discuss your legal options and your rights.