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As difficult as it may be to admit, LGBTQ people – including LGBTQ youth – can be and are perpetrators of violence as well as its victims, and too often, that violence occurs in the context of romantic and/or sexual relationships.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbians and gay men experience equal or higher levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) as heterosexuals, with bisexual women suffering much higher rates of IPV in comparison to lesbians, gay men and heterosexual women.

Both parents and teens need to be aware of the prevalence of teen dating violence.Abusers can be male or female, and experts are seeing these patterns of behavior in younger and younger students as pre-teens and elementary students engage in dating relationships before developing healthy relationship skills and boundaries.Abuse occurs in-person as well as through cyberbullying and cyber-control.TDV may include sexual violence including any kind of unwanted or forced sexual contact.Sexual control may also include reproductive coercion where an abuser sabotages his partner’s birth control, forces pregnancy and/or determines the outcome of the victim’s pregnancies.

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