A new report has revealed that domestic violence between gay and lesbian partners has increased by 15% in the US since 2008.

Issued by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), the report assessed domestic/intimate partner violence between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Americans in 2009.

The report found that LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence reports rose 15% since 2008 and described the phenomenon “as a pervasive social problem”.

In 2009, NCAVP also documented six murders related to LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence, representing a 50% rise since 2007.

“We know that LGBTQ survivors need specific and culturally competent services to stay safe and our primary recommendation in this report is that funding for LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs is needed now more than ever,” said Lisa Gilmore from the Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project.

LGBTQ survivors reported that from 2008 to 2009, there was a 99% increase in calls for police assistance, with a 135% increase in arrests being made; however during this same time, reports of misarrest were up 144% and reports of police misconduct rose 74%.

“NCAVP knows that the police are 10 to 15 times as likely to make a dual arrest in cases of same-sex domestic/intimate partner violence than in heterosexual ones,” said Kelly Clark at the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley’s Community Safety Program.

“This report demonstrates the critical need for LGBTQ-specific cultural competence for first responders, such as law enforcement, to prevent re-traumatizing the survivor of violence,” added Clark.

In its Report, NCAVP calls on local, state and federal governments and private funders to increase funding for community-based LGBTQ-focused domestic/intimate partner violence direct services and prevention.

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