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Why Do Some People Not Take Same-Sex Domestic Violence Seriously?

The Law Office of Joel M. Bacher Feb. 2, 2018

Domestic violence is a serious issue whether it occurs in opposite-sex or same-sex relationships. However, some people tend to take it less seriously when it occurs in a same-sex relationship. Even the alleged victims and perpetrators may do this.

Here is a look at the various issues involved.

Physical aspect

First, many same-sex relationships have less of a physical imbalance than opposite-sex relationships might. In the stereotypical domestic violence scenario, a big, hulking man commits a crime by abusing his tiny girlfriend or wife. Of course, it is entirely possible for women to abuse men, and that happens every day. It is one reason men face a stigma speaking up about their own domestic violence experiences and why they may encounter difficulty defending a charge.

In any case, some people assume that same-sex couples of similar physical sizes are on level ground. There is not necessarily a reason for one to be afraid of the other or to try to get physically violent with the other. An erroneous assumption, but it is one people often make.


There is also the fact that many people see same-sex unions as somehow illegitimate or inferior to opposite-sex unions. Therefore, issues such as child custody or domestic violence do not merit as much attention from some authority figures and other groups.

Social Conditioning

Many aspects of social conditioning can lead to alleged victims and perpetrators not even taking domestic violence as seriously as they should. For example, say that Juan accuses Brian of striking him repeatedly. Brian feels he is innocent and goes on to tell the police this, perhaps even re-enacting what happened. Brian might think that because he is in a same-sex relationship, the police just need to hear an explanation and will not continue with charges. This can be a mistake, as some authorities do take domestic violence seriously. Any hole or error Brian makes in his explanation could come back to greatly hurt him later.