Intimate Partner / Domestic Violence - Los Angeles LGBT Center

If you’re dealing with issues that feel beyond your control, you’ve got a welcoming place to turn for counseling.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center offers individual, couples, family, and group therapy, as well as psychiatric care. We operate one of the few programs to assist LGBT people involved in domestic and intimate partner abuse/violence and our programs to combat substance abuse include a renowned outpatient program for those who want to stop using crystal meth.

Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence

health-services.png Mental Health Intimate Partner / Domestic Violence

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If your partner is abusive, or if you are abusive to your partner, we’re here to help.

Domestic abuse and violence, also known as intimate partner abuse and violence, is a pattern of behavior in which an intimate partner or former partner attempts to control the thoughts, beliefs, and/or actions of his/her partner. It may include physical, sexual, psychological, and/or financial abuse and it’s just as common among same-sex couples as it is among heterosexual couples.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center's STOP Domestic Violence and/or Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project offers services by LGBT-domestic violence specialists, including certified domestic violence counselors and mental health professionals and attorneys who have been trained in LGBT-domestic violence issues.

Please read our tips and recommendations for people who are:

Survivors of domestic violence

Survivor Tips and Recommendations

If you are an LGBT victim/survivor of domestic violence:

  • Know that you are not responsible for your partner's abusive behavior.
  • You have the right to a safe and healthy relationship.
  • Establish contacts with friends and family so you have a safe place to go.
  • Consider obtaining a restraining order to aid in your protection. We can assist you.
  • Talk to a counselor who is trained in LGBT domestic violence issues. Warning: couples counseling can potentially make your situation more dangerous!
  • Follow the safety plan below or develop an individualized safety plan that fits your unique needs and concerns in conjunction with a LGBT-domestic violence specialist.

Safety Planning

Leaving an abusive relationship without a safety plan, support and information about your options is potentially dangerous and can put your life and well-being at risk.

  • Keep a bag packed that is ready to go and easy to grab at a moment's notice in case you need to leave quickly.
  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to move to a room with easy access to an exit. Do not relocate to a bathroom, kitchen or any location where there are potential weapons.
  • Keep emergency cash hidden where you can get to it quickly. Keep important papers with you or in your packed bag so you will have them when you leave.
  • Devise a code word to use with your family, children, friends or neighbors to alert them if you need the police.
  • If the situation is dangerous, use your best judgment to keep yourself safe. Call the police as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • You have the right to obtain a restraining order. Keep the restraining order with you at all times. Leave extra copies at work, with a friend, in your car, etc.

Checklist: What You May Need to Take When Leaving

  • Identification: birth certificates, driver's license
  • Money, ATM card, checkbook, credit card, cash
  • House and car keys
  • Photos of injuries your partner inflicted on you
  • Legal papers: Copy of restraining order, medical records, paternity or custody papers, etc. Address book, important telephone numbers
  • Work permits, green card, passport, etc.
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Medications and other medical supplies

If this is an emergency, call 911! Call us at: 323-860-5806 or send an email message to After regular business hours, you can also call the 24-hour national domestic violence hotline at 888-799-7233 (SAFE).


Are you abusing someone?
If so, please:

  • Take responsibility and be accountable for your actions.
  • Saying, "I'm sorry," is not enough. "Making up" is only a temporary response and does not stop further abusive incidents.
  • Recognize that you may be committing a crime. Assault is against the law, and you can be charged and/or sentenced to time in jail. You do not have the permission or right to abuse your partner.
  • See a counselor trained in LGBT domestic violence as soon as possible and attend a group for people who abuse their partners.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has groups for those who may be at risk for domestic violence and those engaged in domestic violence. An intake appointment is required. Please let us help.

If this is an emergency, call 911! Call us at: 323-860-5806 or send an email message to After regular business hours, you can also call the 24-hour national domestic violence hotline at 888-799-7233 (SAFE).

A friend of someone who is being abused

Do you have a friend who is being abused? If so:

  • Learn about the dynamics of partner abuse and available resources so that you don’t inadvertently increase his/her risk for abuse and violence.
  • Don’t insist that s/he leave her/his abusive partner. Leaving an abusive relationship without a realistic safety plan is dangerous and can be life-threatening.
  • Do not recommend couples counseling. It is potentially dangerous.
  • Reinforce that abusive behavior is never acceptable; that using abusive behavior is a choice that the abuser makes; and that it is the abuser’s responsibility to change.
  • Validate his/her feelings as well as their complexity.
  • Acknowledge the reality of the losses that she or he faces. Remind him or her that excessive jealousy, possessiveness, controlling and dominating behaviors and rage are not indicators of love.
  • Challenge her or his denial about the seriousness of abuse as well as any misconceptions that she or he has about domestic violence.
  • Remember that your role is to be a friend rather than an expert or counselor.
  • Encourage him/her to seek help and support from a LGBT domestic violence specialist or program.
  • Take care of yourself. Don’t do anything that puts you at risk. Don’t interfere physically or threaten the abuser.

If you witness your friend being assaulted, call 911 for help. If the abuser threatens you, secure a protective order and report any violations of the order to the appropriate authorities. Seek support and assistance from a LGBT domestic violence specialist

If this is an emergency, call 911! Call us at: 323-860-5806. After regular business hours, you can also call the 24-hour national domestic violence hotline at 888-799-7233 (SAFE).

Domestic Violence services include:

  • Survivor groups
  • Crisis counseling and safety planning
  • Court-approved batterer intervention
  • Short-term and ongoing individual mental health services
  • Partner abuse prevention groups and workshops
  • Referral to LGBT-sensitive shelters
  • Prevention services for those at risk
  • LGBT-specific and LGBT-sensitive legal services
  • Advocacy with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, service providers and others
  • LGBT domestic violence training, education, and consultation
  • Preparing temporary restraining orders
  • Legal representation in certain cases

Our fees are based on a sliding scale and no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Read more about our services, and learn more about domestic violence among same-sex couples, in our informational booklet. Click to download the English version or the Espanol version.

WARNING: Use a safe computer (a public library computer, for example) since using the Internet leaves an electronic trail.

If this is an emergency, call 911! For our Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project, call: 323-993-7649 or send an email to For non-legal related services, call our STOP Domestic Violence Project at 323-860-5806 or send an email to

After regular business hours, you can also call the 24-hour national domestic violence hotline at 888-799-7233 (SAFE).

Contact Us

If you think you or your family member has a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Do not attempt to access emergency medical care through this contact email.

If you are an established client of the Center with a non-emergency medical question, please call 323-993-7500.

Examples of the kinds of questions that you can send to this email are:

By clicking continue I understand that I should use this mail box only for a non-emergency, non-urgent question.

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