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MYTH - Battering/abuse does not exist in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities; only men abuse women.

FACT - Intimate partner violence does exist among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and in sexual minority communities; it is not a problem limited to heterosexual relationships. The extent and severity of abuse in these communities is becoming increasingly evident. In fact, it is just as widespread as intimate partner violence in relationships between heterosexual couples. Despite fear and community denial, more and more bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay folks are speaking about battering and abuse in their relationships.

MYTH - Domestic violence only affects certain groups of queer people.

FACT - Violence and abuse are found in all parts of our community. No group, regardless of race, class, ethnicity, gender identity, age, ability, education, politics, religion or lifestyle, is free from domestic violence. Being abusive is not determined by size, strength, or economic status. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who batter or abuse can be friendly, physically un-intimidating, sociable and charming. People who are battered or abused can be strong, capable and dynamic.

MYTHIn same-sex relationships, the problem is really fighting or "mutual battering," not domestic violence.

FACT - Abuse is a pattern of controlling behaviors. Although either or both partners may use violence, batterers do so to increase their control over their partners. Survivors have used violence for many reasons. Some include: self-defense, desperation, anger, and to try to stop the abuse. When survivors use violence, the results are complicated. They may be arrested, disbelieved by friends about the abuse, or guilted into staying longer in the relationship to "make up for" our actions. Using violence to survive is a sign that something is wrong -- making a plan to get support is important.

MYTH - If the abuse becomes too bad, people can leave an abusive or violent partner easily.

FACT -  Battering relationships are rarely only violent or abusive. They also utilize the isolation and targeting that occurs in the larger, straight community to cut off survivors' access to support, safe shelter, or community. Also, love, caring and remorse are often part of the pattern of abuse. This can leave a survivor feeling confused and ambivalent about what they are experiencing. Emotional or economic dependency, shame, or isolation can make leaving seem impossible.

MYTH - Factors such as substance abuse, stress, childhood violence or provocation is the real cause of battering and abuse.

FACT - A batterer chooses to be violent and is responsible for their behavior. Individuals and communities deny this responsibility, and we come up with excuses. Alcohol and drug use may become part of the dynamics of abuse, but they do not cause domestic violence. Stopping substance abuse does not guarantee that the battering will stop. Most sexual minority people experience some kind of stress and many have experienced childhood violence, but there is no direct cause and effect relationship between these factors and domestic violence. There is no justification for domestic violence.


Source: The Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse – www.nwnetwork.org

Advocates work directly with victims of domestic violence to address all areas of concern. Call 303.772.0432
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Act as an advocate against domestic violence: provide support for victims in addition to educating the community.
Safe Shelter provides safety, support and resources to individuals affected by domestic abuse. We promote empowerment through direct services and community education, advocating for the right of every individual to live a life free of intimidation, exploitation and abuse.

Our vision is provide the tools to empower our community to break the cycle of domestic violence. To stay focused on this vision, we are guided by values that define us. Those values include:

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  • Offer Support and Opportunity.
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