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Facts of Child Exposure to Domestic Violence

As we all know, children are exposed to the abusive behavior in a home experiencing domestic violence, and they experience long-term effects of that exposure.  The behaviors to which children are exposed include physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, and beating, but also emotional abuse such as humiliation, intimidation, isolation, and controlling actions. As research continues, studies are finding the children do not need to witness violent behaviors for the abusive behavior to take its toll. Being in the same home and being exposed to the behaviors and their aftermath is enough for some children to experience long-term, negative effects. Click here for more information.

Expanding Our Conversation

The United States is in the midst of another civil rights movement.  In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state prohibition regarding same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.[1]  Members of the LGBT community are fighting and gaining their civil rights that have been long denied them.  We are also in the midst of the same civil rights backlash we saw in the 1960’s. We are seeing legislation that seeks to take away from transgender individuals the right to use public bathrooms which are safe and appropriate.

Strategies to address domestic and sexual violence in our communities are also changing to reflect our shared understanding of the impact of domestic and sexual violence in the LGBTQ community:

  • Its prevalence is similar to the rate in heterosexual relationships or approximately 25 to 33 percent.[2]
  • Studies also show that more than 11 percent of women in lesbian relationships reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by their partner.[3]
  • Researchers have found that 39 percent of gay men have reported at least one type of battering by a partner.[4]
  • Finally, transgender individuals may experience a higher level of both domestic violence and sexual assault.[5] One study shows that 34.6 percent of transgender respondents stated they experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner[6], while another study indicates that among Trans people of color, 45 percent of Native Americans, 36 percent of Asians, 35 percent of Blacks and 35 percent of Latino/as suffered domestic violence at the hands of a family member.[7]

These statistics underscore the importance of addressing domestic and sexual violence in all of their complexities and forms.  We need to rethink some of our language to ensure that our services are open and welcoming to all and address issues of systemic homophobia that prevent us from achieving the elimination of domestic and sexual violence in the lives of all people.

Keeping in mind the needs to expand our conversation, the NNADV 2016 Conference “Bringing the Margins to the Center” is hosting a number of workshops regarding domestic and sexual violence in LGBT relationships.  NNADV offers training to help agencies develop policies, procedures, and services that are inclusive, supportive, and appropriate for all persons who present at our doors.    Additionally, there are   local and national resources available to help advocates provide inclusive services.  To learn more, click here.

[1]Obergefell v. Hodges 135 S. Ct., 2071 (2015)
[2] Fountain, K and Ciarlante, M, Why It Matters, Rethinking Victims Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Victims of Hate Violence & Intimate Partner Violence, Joint Policy Report by the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, March 2010 accessed at on March 27, 2016.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Source: Ard, Kevin and Makadon, Harvey, Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients, J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Aug; 26(8): 930–933. Accessed at
[7] Source: Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman,and Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011.  Accessed at

2015 National and State Report

The National Domestic Violence Hotline and the teen-oriented released their national and Nevada statistics.  The national hotlines received 1,791 adult contacts and 124 teen oriented contacts in 2015.

However, this is just part of the story.  Nevada’s domestic violence services agencies provided services for 63,138 adults and 509 children and teens.  Last year, 31,280 victims of domestic violence accessed services via agency hotlines and 32,367 were face to face contacts.

NNADV member programs provide hotline, shelter, counseling, and advocacy services for individuals with domestic violence.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact your local domestic violence agency.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Reports
2015 National Report
2015 Nevada State Report Reports
2015 National Report
2015 Nevada State

2015 Domestic Violence Homicides in Nevada

In 2015, at least 43 people lost their lives due to domestic violence according to the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence’s (NNADV) annual homicide report, 2015 Domestic Violence Homicides in Nevada. The lives lost included victims, family members, perpetrators and law enforcement. In 28 identified incidences, 64 percent (18) involved firearms, 64 percent (16) of the victims were women, and 34 percent (10) were murder-suicides. Click here to view the complete report.

Policy Brief: Teen and Young Adult Dating Violence

Discussions around intimate partner violence typically focus on adult relationships. This is not surprising, given that one in four women will experience abuse in her lifetime. What is not as widely known however is that according to, “one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence”. Further, “girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average”. Read more

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