HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - As Pride celebrations continue in the month of June, one issue in the LGBTQ community is not often celebrated.
"Pride Month is part of our culture, and one we need to pay attention to in looking at struggles we have faced throughout the years," said Kate Celius, community engagement manager with Samaritan House in Virginia Beach.
One struggle not often talked about or pushed under the rug is intimate partner violence, or IP.
"We have a staggering statistic to share, and that is 1 in 3 women and 1 in 3 men will be victims of physical violence from an intimate partner some point in their lives," said Celius.
Domestic violence is often portrayed to only impact heterosexual couples, but it is very prevalent in the LGBTQ community.
"It can present as physical violence, stalking, emotional abuse or controlling," she said.
The Samaritan House says 26% of gay men, 37% of bisexual men will experience IPV in their lifetime. Forty-three percent of lesbian women and 61% of bisexual women have also experienced IPV.
"One of the things to look for is withdrawal or isolation; that is a big indicator something is going on at home," she said.
Resources are available for counseling as well as housing for those within the LGBTQ community. Celius says less than 5% of LGBT survivors of IPV sought orders of protection.
"It is important we talk about this because this is something that goes unnoticed," she said.
Samaritan House will hold a forum on June 17 on Facebook to talk about this issue. It will feature a panel of experts to help those in danger lead safe, happy lives.
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