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LGBTQ community rarely reports domestic violence, experts say

LGBTQ community
Posted at 10:35 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 22:41:14-04

People in the LGBTQ community aren't reporting domestic violence cases, experts said. 

"I go home to an empty bed, but I'd rather go home to an empty bed than someone punching and slapping and talking crap," said Devinity.

Devinity is part of the LGBTQ community and she was in an abusive relationship for several years.  Now she's healing and working at the LGBT Community Center along with Executive Director Phyllis Harris.

"I think even within our community, within the LGBTQ community we're not talking about it enough," said Harris.

Harris said domestic violence remains under-reported in the community she serves. She said it affects mostly gay men and bisexual women.

"So not only are you dealing with the fact that you are being a victim of violence, you might be threatened around job security or housing security," she said.

Harris said the abusers know exactly who to prey on.

"They can leverage that fear, they can leverage that knowing that the community and many professionals might not be supportive, or might not understand or might not be understanding," said Harris.

Megan Gergen works for the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center and her center is teaming up with the LGBT Community Center.

"Making sure that we're using proper terminology making sure that we're really recognizing and meeting folks where they're at regardless of where they're at in the stages of coming out," she said.

Outreach and proper services are exactly why Devinity said she was able to start over.

"It's better to be on your own than to be with someone that's going to drag you through the mud," said Devinity.