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Dating abuse creates special challenges for the LGBTQ community, which may not have the resources available to it that heterosexual couples do.

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Ending the epidemic Part IV: LGBTQ victims face special challenges

Nationwide, while the rate of violence in the LGBTQ community mirrors that of straight relationships, less than 25 percent of all victims report their abuse. There are a number of reasons for that disparity, but largely, it’s a lack of resources — lack of support from family and friends, fear of further isolation and a lack of specific LGBTQ services. If a victim has not admitted his or her sexuality, utilizing existing services (such as a shelter, attending support groups or calling a crisis line) can mean lying or hiding the gender of the batterer to be perceived as a heterosexual. Or it can mean coming out, which is a major life decision. They may find that shelters are gender-specific, which makes it difficult for transgender or transsexual victims to find help.

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