It Can Happen to You: Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Couples

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

Domestic violence happens in many kinds of relationships. Although we often think of the stereotype of family violence as a man beating up a smaller woman, domestic violence is broader than physical violence alone, and it can also happen in same-sex relationships. In New Jersey, the law defines domestic violence as one of several specific crimes between people with a domestic relationship, including same-sex intimate partners. See N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-19(d) (2016).

Some crimes that may qualify as domestic violence include:

  • Harassment
  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Cyber harassment
  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault
  • Robbery
  • Lewdness
  • Burglary

See N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-19(a) (2016).

Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence happens among LGBTQ+ couples at about the same rate, or sometimes at higher rates, than it does among heterosexual relationships. Forty-eight percent of lesbian and 63% of bisexual women have experienced physical violence, stalking, or rape at the hands of an intimate partner. This compares to 35% of heterosexual women.

Twenty-nine percent of heterosexual men reported experiencing violence, stalking, or rape at the hands of an intimate partner, while 26% of gay men and 37.3% of bisexual men reported the same. When it comes to reporting domestic violence, however, only 26% of gay men called the police after experiencing serious violence in their relationship.

Abuse in Same-Sex Couples by the Numbers

According to NCADV's latest survey, many LGBTQ+ individuals experience abuse that goes beyond physical violence in a relationship. The survey revealed that of same-sex couples:

  • 15% have experienced verbal harassment in a relationship
  • 16% have experienced threats or intimidation from a partner
  • 4% experienced sexual violence in a relationship
  • 20% experienced physical violence of some kind from an intimate partner

Even more frighteningly, 11% of violent intimate partner incidents reported to NCADV involved a weapon.

A few aspects of domestic violence among LGBTQ+ couples may be unique. Gay men and lesbians report that their partners were more likely to threaten to “out” them to friends, family, or co-workers. Moreover, past abuse or bullying faced by LGBTQ+ individuals may prevent them from calling the police or seeking help, particularly if they've faced psychological trauma.

You Need an Experienced New Jersey Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you're facing accusations of domestic violence, this isn't something you should try to whether alone. A conviction for domestic violence can be a serious matter, leaving you with a criminal record and, in some cases, a restraining order against you. You need a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney protecting your rights. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced lawyers at the Lento Law Firm have been guiding defendants through domestic violence charges for years, and they can help you too. Contact the Lento Law Firm online or give them a call at (888) 535-3686 to set up a consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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