Page 7 - Northern Star Fall 2020 Edition
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ntimate partner violence and the ripples know. In abusive relationships, the abuser out for help, resulting in a deeply
it creates impacts every community, might threaten, or even go through with entrenched mistrust of the systems designed regardless of demographics. The outing their partner who is still in the closet. to support and protect them.
COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a new world, one in which many victims of domestic violence are unable to reach out to the proper resources. Many victims are trapped at home with their abusers, which makes it difficult for them to break away and safely call for help. The LGBTQ+ population is no different, but as a group, they have some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence as compared to their straight counterparts. These elevated rates, coupled with the array of unique issues that the community faces, makes those in the LGBTQ+ population much more vulnerable to abuse. To make matters more complex, the rates and types of violence differ depending on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and race.
One such issue that is not present in straight relationships is that of “outing.” According to theNetworklaRed, “outing is the act of revealing that someone is LGBTQ+ to someone who doesn’t know” without the individual’s knowledge or consent. For many in the LGBTQ+ community, coming out is usually a very intimidating thought, a process that LGBTQ+ folks should have the right to choose when and who they want to
Another issue would be that those in the LGBTQ+ community face higher amounts of economic stressors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, financial stress has increased tenfold, thus putting significant burden on those members. Further, this increase in stress can aggravate the abuser, often worsening the perpetuation of abuse in intimate relationships.
In addition to outing and financial strain, there are ample stereotypes that impact the LGBTQ+ community. For example, bisexual individuals are often viewed as being untrustworthy and promiscuous. There is also the common narrative of domestic violence, which exclusively surrounds a heterosexual relationship, completely ignoring those within same-sex couplings. This harmful narrative can make it difficult for those who are in the LGBTQ+ community to find resources or reach out for help. Another group that is often excluded from broad discussion on intimate partner violence is individuals identifying as transgender, especially transgender women of color. Black transgender women, in particular, are one of the groups of people most discriminated against, and often run into significant barriers when they do reach
When it comes to intimate partner violence in the trans community, abusers may misgender their partners (for example, the abuser might refer to them as “he” when they identify as “she”). Being a minority increases one’s propensity to experience prejudice and oppression, and transgender women of color often face discrimination due to their race, gender identity, and gender expression. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened these statistics, resulting in victims co-isolating with their abusers and therefore being more disconnected from supportive peers, the community, and crisis centers.
Domestic violence is not just a “woman’s issue,” as the experience of intimate partner violence does not discriminate based on one’s gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, nationality, or religious affiliation. The LGBTQ+ community is one that deserves just as much attention in the field of intimate partner violence as those who identify as straight and cisgender. It is vital that helping professionals and aspiring allies proactively work together to ensure that anti-violence services and resources are inclusive, culturally competent, and readily available to victims identifying as LGBTQ+.
The Northern
 magine fleeing a dangerous domestic violence situation in the middle of the night, leaving with your three children and only the clothes on your back. Unfortunately, this is the reality for some of the clients we support at Crisis Center North, and the pervasive
impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have only made this sobering reality starker.
We are currently in need of donations of various gift cards to be able to provide victims of domestic violence with the purchasing power to buy the essentials, like food, gasoline, and sometimes clothing. Gift cards can be in any denomination (especially $10 and $25) for places like Giant Eagle (food/gas), Sheetz (food/gas), Target (food/medicine/clothing), and Dominos.
If you or someone you know would like to donate gift cards to help victims in need, please contact our admin line at 412.364.6728 or send an email to jarmstrong@ We thank you for your generosity and continued support!

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