Connection with another person is something everyone strives for when looking for love. What people don’t strive for is the potential violence that comes with it. There are three types of dating violence: emotional, physical, and mental abuse. Unfortunately, it is growing to be more of a common issue amongst the youth of the LGBTQ+ community. Research conducted by Semprevivo (2021) show that LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience dating violence in comparison to heterosexual youth. There are a lot of things that the LGBTQ+ community have to deal with in comparison to the cisgender population, and a lot of it mainly has to do with their gender/ sexual identity. This community just recently started becoming more recognized, but our generation still has to combat all of the ugly societal issues that revolve around the LGBTQ+ community previous generations could not successfully overcome.
Smollin (2014) mentions how queer relationships are ‘“the same… but different”’ from their cisgender, heterosexual peers (p. 3). I could not agree more. They are the same because of the fact that there is a relationship forming between two people, but the difference comes from the societal issues that both relationships face. Every type of relationship can have physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse. However, heterosexist and HIV-related abuse are more likely to happen in relationships in the LGBTQ+ community. Heterosexist abuse involves threatening to “out” someone when they are clearly not ready to some out (Martinez, 2015). HIV-related abuse is when someone gets in the way of a person with HIV when it comes to their medical treatments (Martinez, 2015). What Smollin (2014) said also relates to issues surrounding dating violence in both relationships because she mentions how social location, minority stress, and the developmental tasks of adolescence influence the LGBTQ+ relationship. The intersectionality theory comes into play in regard to these differences because it highlights the more specific issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community in comparison to the heterosexual community.
It is important to bring awareness to dating violence within the LGBTQ+ community because of how little research is done on it. Do not get me wrong, heterosexual relationships also matter, but there is more than enough research conducted within heterosexual relationships in comparison to that of an LGBTQ+ relationship. Even now when doing research on dating violence amongst the LGBTQ+ community, it was mentioned a multitude of times that not enough research has been done in this growing societal issue. There are many youths that can benefit from more research being done on this topic. Some may argue that dating violence is the same in all relationships, but let us remind ourselves of what Smollin (2014) has previously mentioned, LGBTQ+ relationships are “the same.. but different” (p. 3). Even being able to acknowledge that something as small (but also as big) of a concept as that can make the most impact to this community.
Martinez, G., & Gomez, E. A. (2015). Teen Dating Violence in the LGBTQ Community. Aug 2015.
Smollin, Leandra M. (2014). Queer adolescent perceptions of romantic relationships and dating violence: Building an integrative framework for LGBTQ violence research. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
Semprevivo, Lindsay K. (2021). Dating and sexual violence victimization among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning youth: Considering the importance of gender and sexual orientation. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 30(5), 662–678.