Coercive Control in LGBTQIA+ Relationships

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Threatening someone, making them scared and forcing them to do something they feel uncomfortable with is abusive behaviour. This type of abuse can happen in all relationships, young or old people, married or not married, heterosexual or couples who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

There are forms of abuse that are specific to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including your partner either threatening to or forcibly outing you and telling other people what your sexuality or gender identity is when you aren’t ready to do so. Or they might use your sexuality as an excuse to be controlling and accuse you of cheating.  

Outing is particularly harmful because coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a personal choice for an individual to make. By forcing someone to come out, or telling someone else their sexuality or gender identity when they didn't want them to know, they are invading their privacy and potentially putting that person in danger depending on how other people may react to finding out this news. 

This kind of behaviour can be considered coercive control, which is illegal in Scotland. Find out more about coercive control.

Or your partner might call you horrible names that mock your gender identity, which isn’t okay either. Find out more about verbal abuse. 

This video from LGBT Youth Scotland and Scottish Women's Aid also explains a bit more about coercive control in LGBTQIA+ relationships.

Where can I get help and support?

If confidentiality is a worry for you because you aren’t out yet, you can discuss any issues with support workers who are skilled in working with members of the LGBT community and those who experience domestic abuse.

The following organisations can help:

Find out where to get more general support too.

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Visit the That's Not OK campaign page for more information.