We know it happens.

The world is becoming more and more accepting of LGBTQ relationships. As we become more understanding and more open, we must also keep in mind a dark reality: the reality that some LGBTQ relationships are abusive.

In some ways, domestic violence in LGBTQ relationships is much the same as it is in heterosexual relationships. But each of us experiences abuse within the greater context of our lives. For many LGBTQ survivors, that means there are steep barriers to seeking help—barriers particularly related to being LGBTQ. The threats used by the abuser might be different. The isolation may run even deeper. The options may be even more limited.

This video, filmed in Australia, depicts LGBTQ survivors telling their stories. Warning: these are powerful stories, and may be triggering. But for those of us who care about domestic violence, we can learn from this video, and from the LGBTQ survivors in our lives.

As we work together to end abuse, it is imperative that we listen, that we learn, and that we not only leave the door open, but actively open that door and invite people in.

No one deserves abuse, in any relationship.

Maine’s domestic violence resource centers provide services to victims of domestic abuse, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. If you or someone you know needs help or thinks they may be experiencing abuse, call 1.866.834.HELP from any Maine number to connect with a domestic violence advocate.