Purpose and Mission: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Caucus believes domestic violence is embedded in multiple systems of oppression and that it can only be eradicated by the dismantling of those systems. The LGBT Caucus is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who support the work of the battered women’s movement. The purpose of the LGBT Caucus is to advocate for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans voices in the work to end violence and to advocate for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who are survivors. Click here to download a copy of the LGBT Caucus Brochure.

Goals:

  • To support the mission, goals, and philosophy of the Texas Council on Family Violence.
  • To educate about the dynamics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans intimate partner violence.
  • To educate about homophobia as related to other systems of oppression that perpetuate violence against women.
  • To encourage the development of resources and services appropriate for lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans people who are survivors of violence.
  • To create safe and supportive forums that promote the visibility and empowerment of lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans people who work in the battered women’s movement.
  • To increase awareness within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communities about battering and resources available to survivors.
  • To build strong alliances with others working to end oppression.
  • To encourage accountability with others working to end oppression.
  • To encourage accountability for those actions which adversely affect diversity within the movement and lead to exclusivity.
  • To provide TCFV with input in all areas that directly or indirectly impact lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

Myths and Facts

Myth:
Battering/Abuse does not exist in same-sex relationships, in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-sexual communities. It is believed that only men batter women.

Fact:
Domestic violence does exist among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people and in other sexual minority communities. It is not a problem limited to heterosexual relationships. In the lesbian community, the extent and severity of the abuse is becoming increasingly evident. Despite fear and community denial, more and more lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are speaking about battering and abuse in their relationships.

Myth:
Domestic violence only affects certain groups of sexual minority people.

Fact:
Violence and abuse are found in all parts of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) communities. No group regardless of race, class, ethnicity, age, ability, education, politics, religion or lifestyle is free from domestic violence. Being abusive is not determined by a man or woman’s size, strength or economic status. LGBT people who batter or abuse can be friendly, physically un-intimidating, sociable and charming. LGBT people who are battered and abused can be strong, capable and dynamic.

Myth:
In same-sex relationships, the problem is really fighting or “mutual battering,” not domestic violence.

Fact:
The issue in domestic violence is control. A survivor’s needs are usually subordinated and she or he often changes her behavior to accommodate or anticipate his/her batterer’s demands. This unequal power relationship distinguishes battering from fighting. In an abusive relationship, fighting back is self-defense, not “mutual battering.”

Myth:
Lesbian, bisexual, gay, and trans survivors can leave abusive or violent relationships easily.

Fact:
Battering relationships rarely are only violent or abusive. Love, caring and remorse are often part of the cyclical pattern of abuse. This can leave a survivor feeling confused and ambivalent about what she is experiencing. Emotional or economic dependency, shame or isolation can make leaving seem impossible.

Myth:
Factors such as substance abuse, stress, childhood violence or provocation really causes battering and abuse.

Fact:
A batterer chooses to be violent and is responsible for his/her behavior. Individuals and communities deny this responsibility. We want to find excuses. Alcohol and drugs do not cause domestic violence. Stopping substance abuse does not guarantee that the battering will stop. Most lesbian, bisexual, gay, and trans people experience some kind of stress and many have experienced childhood violence, but there is no direct cause and effect relationship between these factors and domestic violence. There is no provocation or justification for domestic violence.

LGBT Power and Control Wheels

English: click to download

Spanish: click to download

Statewide LGBT Resources

1. LAMBDA GLBT Community Services, they have an anti-violence project
El Paso, TX (206) 350-GAYS(4297)
www.lambda.org/

2. Montrose Counseling Center
Houston, TX (713) 529-0037
http://www.montrosecounselingcenter.org/

3. Resource Center of Dallas
Dallas, TX (214) 528-0144
http://www.rcdallas.org/

4. Texas Council on Family Violence
Austin, TX (800-525-1978)
http://www.tcfv.org/

5. Texas Advocacy Project, provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the LGBT community
1-800-374-HOPE (4673)
http://texasadvocacyproject.org

6. Waterloo Counseling Center
Austin, TX (512) 444-9922
http://www.waterloocounseling.org/

National LGBT Resources

1. Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project
Cambridge, MA (800) 832-1901
http://www.gmdvp.org/

2. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Denver, CO (303) 839-1852
http://www.ncadv.org/

3. National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, National Advocacy for Local LGBT Communities
New York, NY (212)714-1184
http://www.ncavp.org/

4. National Domestic Violence Hotline
Austin, TX (800) 799-SAFE (7233), TTY (800) 787-3224
http://www.ndvh.org/

5. The Network/La Red
Boston, MA (617) 742-4911, TTY (617) 227-4911
http://www.thenetworklared.org/

How to join: CANs are made up of TCFV individual members.  If you’d like to join the LGBT Caucus, click here to become a TCFV member.  Please indicate on your application that you are interested in learning more about the LGBT Caucus.

Already a TCFV individual member? Great!  Contact membershipmatters@tcfv.org for information about joining LGBT Caucus.