Invisible scars: Comparing the mental health of LGB and heterosexual intimate partner violence survivors.

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Byron A. Miller

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects countless women and men in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) as well as heterosexual relationships, but few studies have examined how such abuse is associated with the mental health of LGB victims. The present study addresses this issue using data from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey to examine differences in depression and anxiety among IPV victims in LGB and heterosexual partnerships. The findings indicate LGB IPV victims are much more likely to have a history of depression (OR 1.70, p < .05) and anxiety (OR 1.70, p < .05) than heterosexual victims. These differences are slightly mediated by the victim’s perceived emotional support but not the type of abuse experienced. Our findings accentuate the need for greater inclusion of LGB persons in the IPV and mental health discourse, as well as the importance of social support for IPV victims. Policy implications for members of the LGB community are discussed.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.