Two analyses examined issues of sexual orientation and intimate partner violence, including its impact on substance abuse and physical and mental health.


The first study found that homosexuals and bisexuals were more likely to be involved in intimate partner violence. In the second study, homosexual or bisexual victims of intimate partner violence were more likely to use drugs and alcohol and have health issues compared to heterosexual victims. They found the was risk compounded if one of the couple had experienced abuse as a child.

Homosexuals and bisexuals had 36 percent more likelihood than heterosexuals of being involved in intimate partner violence - in the dataset the totals were 50 percent and 32 percent respectively. The dataset was a sample of 7,216 women and 6,893 men from the National Violence Against Women Survey from 1995 and 1996.

"The finding of higher rates of adult IPV victimization for non-heterosexual child abuse victims lend support to the need for special social welfare programs for non-heterosexual victims, programs which are currently severely lacking," the report said. 

The second study, using the same data from the National Violence Against Women Survey, found that homosexual and bisexual victims of intimate partner violence are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol following their victimization, with 35 percent turning to drugs compared to 23 percent among heterosexuals. In addition, non-heterosexual victims were at higher risk of alcohol abuse and health problems, although heterosexual victims were more likely to suffer mental health issues, the study found.

The results were released by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University, which studies the impact of crime on its victims, relatives and society and makes policy recommendations for improvements to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. 


"The Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization By Sexual Orientation" (2014) by Maria Koeppel, Leana A. Bouffard. Upcoming in Violence and Victims and Women and Criminal Justice.