Once again the Louisiana State Legislature has denied protections for the LGBT community by voting for a bill 17-14 against (R) Rep. Patrick Connick's bill (HB 27) which removed the requirement the victim was of the opposite sex in order to for the act to be considered domestic violence. Like Republican's in the U.S. Senate there was no debate on the bill, in fact five Democratic Senator's were absent for the vote; which shows that this bill was not important to the welfare and safety of those in the LGBT community. Louisiana will be one of two states denying same sex couples protections, joining South Carolina (no surprise there).
Studies have shown that domestic violence affects at least 25% to 75% of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. The issue remains that there lacks firm or convulsive data and under reporting of abuse that paints an incomplete picture of the total landscape, suggesting an even higher rate.
Domestic violence -- at times called intimate partner violence -- this can be physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current and/or former intimate partners. Some research began in the 1970's in response to the women's movement, but studies focus more on women that are being abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.
There have been cities around the United States that have made great strides in dealing or combating same sex domestic abuse. The LGBT community still faces obstacles accessing help. Experts suggest that local LGBT community leaders "educate health care providers about the presence of this problem, and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships" states Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry at Northwestern University.
So while we fight for equality, and the right to be protected. Just remember that in the state of Louisiana you don't have even the basic rights for protections against domestic abuse; and let's be honest most local and state police don't take this issue seriously. While we have made advances, why don't we as a community talk about this? How do LGBT advocates regard this issue? It appears that we are in the dark ages of social justice, you know that time where everyone just pretended it never happened, therefore, we just don't talk about it.
IF YOU NEED HELP OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS HELP WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE OR CALL 911
SAGE LGBT ELDER HOTLINE: 1-888-234-7243
LGBT NATIONAL HOTLINE: 1-888-843-4564
CRISIS TEXT LINE: TEXT CONNECT TO 741741 IN THE UNITED STATES
Image: istockphoto.com Purchased for commercial use.
Knight, Charlotte, and Kath Wilson. "Domestic Violence and Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships." Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System (2016): 179-206. Web.
Roy, Tulsi. "Intimate Partner Violence." Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Healthcare (2016): 125-40. Web.