Same-Sex Domestic Violence: Is anyone listening?

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Domestic violence is understood to be the use of any instrumentality to control a household member, including physical harm or its threat, isolation from friends and family, economic deprivation, sexual assaults, destruction of property, withholding medication, and psychological manipulation. While few studies that have been conducted on same-sex domestic violence support the conclusion, it is widespread among both gay and lesbian couples. One early study reported that some 47 percent of gays and lesbians have been victimized by domestic violence.* Others have suggested that from 42 to 79 percent of men and 25 to fifty percent of women in same-sex relationships have experienced some form of domestic violence. These statistics support a 2003 analysis of the National Criminal Victimization Survey, which pointed to higher rates of domestic violence involving same-sex couples than heterosexual ones.†

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