Many members and supporters of the LGBT community have been fighting for laws that will protect same-sex couples against domestic violence. According to an article on Legal Match, only 14 states in the U.S., including New York and Ohio, recognize same-sex domestic violence as a crime. The other 37 states are gender-neutral and don’t always protect the rights of same-sex couples.
So what can be done?
Usually when someone in a same-sex relationship reports abuse to the authorities, a protective order is placed, according to Legal Match The protective order includes injunctions and restraining orders against the abusers. The protective orders can evict the abuser out of the couples’ home and will be banned from having communication with their partner for a certain amount of time. While protected orders will benefit the abused victim, the decision for an order depends on the state the victim lives in. Since not all states currently protect same-sex couples from CDV, a protected order can only do so much, if anything at all. This seems unfair to most people in the LGBT community who feel that their rights aren’t taken as seriously as the rights of straight couples. Why should there be protected orders in one state and not in the next?
States that are trying to create laws
Recently, Fox Carolina discussed a possible law that will create more rights for same-sex couples in South Carolina. Currently, someone in a same-sex couple that lives together can report abuse, but the assailant will not be charged with Co-Domestic abuse. Instead, they would be charged with assault and battery. This is something that the LGBT community wants to change because someone in a heterosexual relationship would be charged with CDV. According to the video, if the law changed and an abuser in a same-sex relationship decided was potentially charged, the law would only see the assault as a crime if the couple was legally married in the state of South Carolina. This means that any couple who lives together or considers themselves to be in a domestic partnership would not be charged with CDV.