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U S Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.govOffice of Public Health and Science - The Federal Source for Women's Health Information Sponsored by the H H S Office on Women's Health
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Violence Against Women

Violence in Same-sex Relationships

Domestic abuse occurs just as often in same-sex relationships as in heterosexual relationships. If you're in a same-sex relationship and you're being abused, you may be afraid to seek help for many of the same reasons as women in heterosexual relationships. You may worry about supporting yourself financially, or you may be concerned that your partner will seriously harm you or your children if you leave. But you probably have other concerns too. You may be wondering if anyone will believe you. And you may worry that the people you go to for help will be homophobic.

If you need help, call a local shelter and ask what kind of services they offer gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) clients. If you're not satisfied with the answer, call a shelter in the nearest large city. If you can't find a GLBT-friendly shelter, you can still seek help at a shelter. You do not have to tell them you are in a same-sex relationship if you don't want to. All they need to know is that you are a victim of domestic violence.

If you're a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. Get immediate help and support.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect women to shelters and can send out written information.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-656-4673. When you call, you will hear a menu and can choose #1 to talk to a counselor. You will then be connected to a counselor in your area who can help you. You can also visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

Additional Information on Violence in Same-sex Relationships:


  1. Federal resource  PDF file  Understanding Intimate Partner Violence - This fact sheet contains statistical information on the number of women who are victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), characteristics of the most common victims and perpetrators of IPV, and the effects it can have on a person and society as a whole.

  2. Are you Being Abused? (Copyright © ACOG) - This simple true-false quiz helps victims and those who care about them identify the signs of abuse. It encourages victims to seek assistance and gives helpful phone numbers to call.


  1. Family Violence Prevention Fund
  2. National Crime Prevention Council
  3. The Network/ La Red

Federal resource = Indicates Federal Resources

Content last updated September 1, 2007.

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