Preventing Domestic Violence in LGBTQ Communities: Understanding How Discrimination, Stigma, and Social Exclusion are barriers to Healthy Relationships


In November 2013, the provincial government released Family Violence Hurts Everyone: A Framework to End Family Violence in Alberta, which highlighted the need for research and prevention strategies that focused specifically on LGBT communities. Our third Issue Brief “Preventing Domestic Violence in LGBTQ Communities” responds to the government’s request for research-based recommendations and strategic directions that center on the Alberta context. Understanding LGBT persons daily experiences of heterosexism and homo/bi/transpohobia is an important first step in making sense of domestic violence in LGBT intimate partner relationships. What we found is that while there are generalized risk factors for domestic violence perpetration and victimization, such as child maltreatment, parental mental illness and exposure to domestic violence, LGBT persons face additional risk factors such as stigma, harassment, social exclusion, and rigid gender and sexuality norms that may influence their intimate relationships. Recommendations specific to the Alberta context are enclosed.