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November 10, 2022
June 16, 2022Unique Challenges for Domestic Violence Survivors Who Identify As LGBT...
CASA is lucky to be part of a community where diversity is honored and celebrated year-round. Recognizing 20 well-deserved Grand Marshals for the St. Pete Pride Parade during the parade’s 20th anniversary is a testament to the solid LGBTQIA+ foundation that runs deeply throughout Pinellas County.
Despite the strength and resiliency of our LGBTQIA+ friends and neighbors, domestic violence continues to pose unique challenges for LGBTQIA+ survivors.
At CASA, we are mindful of these challenges and are here to support you and provide you with the resources you need to feel safer at home.
Domestic violence is “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. “It can also be called “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner violence (IPV)” and can exist in any partnership, including partnerships within the LGBTQIA+ community.
If you identify as LGBTQIA+, recognizing the signs of domestic violence may feel confusing. Abusers often target your sexual orientation and gender identity to exploit you further and exert power and control over you.
Signs to watch out for in an abusive partnership include:
-Threatening to “out” you
-Implying that you can be “cured” of your queerness
–Calling you homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic names
–Isolating you from LGBTQIA+ safe spaces and friends
–Questioning and/or discrediting your gender identity and/or sexual orientation
–Withholding gender-affirming clothing (such as chest binders and gaffs)
–Refusing to use your preferred pronouns
–Threatening to use your sexuality and/or gender identity against you to gain custody of your children
–Purposely exposing you to sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
We recognize that your decision to seek help is a significant and often scary step toward your safety. It’s understandable to feel worried about:
-“Outing” yourself if you come forward
–Lacking confidence in the legal system
–Being bound by legal definitions of domestic violence that don’t include language for LGBTQIA+ relationships
–Service providers judging you
–Societal beliefs that domestic violence doesn’t exist in the LGBTQIA+ community
–Fear that domestic violence shelters will only accept women and children and will turn away men or non-binary individuals
–Being unsure about LGBTQIA+-friendly resources
Our advocates are judgment-free, and we wholeheartedly support you. Please do not hesitate to contact us – even if you have reservations. We can talk through your concerns and help you create a safety plan.
CASA is a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community. We understand the unique challenges you face when it comes to domestic violence, and we support you. Everyone is welcome at our shelter regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, all our services are available to you – from support groups to housing assistance, legal support, and more.
We also have an incredibly supportive community. We regularly partner with METRO Inclusive Health for medical care, counseling services, diversity training, and more.
These amazing LGBTQIA+-owned businesses have been particularly dedicated to supporting CASA in our effort to end domestic violence year-round, including:
If you’re experiencing domestic violence, or if you’ve left an abusive relationship and post-separation abuse continues, call our free 24-hour domestic violence helpline at (727) 895-4912 or TTY: (727) 828-1269.
If it is not safe to call, you can reach a CASA advocate at www.casapinellas.org/chat.
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