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Laura's House is a safe space for any victim of adolescent dating abuse. Dating abuse occurs in approximately one in three relationships regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, religious affiliation, political ideology, physical ability, etc. Dating abuse crosses all boundaries and does not discriminate; it does happen in same-sex relationships.

In focus groups conducted by Break the Cycle, an organization dedicated to ending domestic and dating violence, LGTBQ youth reported that dating violence is an "everyday" occurrence for the majority of their peers. Current research suggests that up to 50% of people who identify as LGTBQ will experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.

As is often the case, groups that experience oppression and discrimination can internalize the prejudice, mostly without realizing it. Some have a fear that there is no one who might understand.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents are faced with unique obstacles when in abusive relationships. They may not be out to their parents or friends, so they can't talk about the struggles they are having with their partner. They may feel like if they leave their partner, they will be the only LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) person in their community. Leaving may mean total isolation.

Barriers to Leaving:

  • Fear that if the victim is the more masculine partner they will be presumed to be the abuser
  • Lack of immediate role models
  • Lack of basic civil rights
  • Isolation
  • Threats of being “outed” to friends and family
  • Victim doesn't want to give the LGTBQ community a "bad name" by disclosing the abuse
  • Lack of acknowledgment of dating violence. Information and education about adolescent dating violence is geared toward girls heterosexual relationships
  • The myth that "Women are safe and don't hurt each other."

Changing social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.

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