Domestic violence is more frequent among same-sex couples as compared to their opposite-sex counterparts, a new study has revealed.
Previous studies, when analyzed together, indicate that domestic violence affects 25 percent to 75 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. However, a lack of representative data and underreporting of abuse paints an incomplete picture of the true landscape, suggesting even higher rates. An estimated one in four heterosexual women experience domestic abuse, with rates significantly lower for heterosexual men.
Richard Carroll, psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said that the minority stress model might explain these high prevalence rates, and domestic violence was exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority, which leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.
He further suggested that homosexual men and women might not report domestic violence for fear of discrimination and being blamed for abuse from a partner and they also might worry about their sexual orientation being revealed before they're comfortable with it.
It was also mentioned that health care providers are needed to be educated about the presence of this problem and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships, just as they would for heterosexual patients.
The study is published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
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