Elder Abuse pp 541-553 | Cite as

Coping with Abuse Inside the Family and Out: LGBT and/or Male Victims of Elder Abuse

  • Loree Cook-DanielsEmail author


An estimated 1.5 million U.S. adults aged 65+ have a same-sex or both/all-sex sexual orientation. Another 1 % has a gender identity different than the sex they were assigned at birth. What can make elder abuse different for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) elders is not their sexuality or gender identity, but how others—ranging from their closest family members to strangers thousands of miles away in buildings devoted to law making, law enforcement, and policy interpretation—have created the environments in which sexual and gender minorities have had to survive. This chapter explores what makes LGBT elder abuse victims different from non-LGBT victims; reviews studies of LGBT elder abuse; and discusses LGBT-specific elder abuse tactics and reasons victims may not access or accept help. It also explores the additional barriers faced by male LGBT elder abuse victims, including how male victims have been affected by the history of programs addressing domestic violence and sexual assault; what research says about them; how sexual assault has been defined so as to exclude male victims and female perpetrators; how male socialization negatively affects male victims’ ability to access help; and how service systems biases play out for male and/or transgender survivors. The chapter closes with research challenges, future directions, recent federal efforts to make services more available to male and/or LGBT victims, and advice and resources for working with LGBT elder abuse victims.


Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender LGBT Sexual orientation Gender identity Elder abuse Sexual assault Discrimination Intimate partner violence 


  1. 1.
    Conway L. How frequently does transsexualism occur? 2002. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  2. 2.
    Cook-Daniels L. Lesbian, gay male, bisexual and transgendered elders: elder abuse and neglect issues. 2002.
  3. 3.
    Cook-Daniels L. Living memory LGBT history timeline. 2007a.
  4. 4.
    Cook-Daniels L. Abuse and violence directed at transgender elders. 2007b.
  5. 5.
    Cook-Daniels L. Seeing past the “L”: addressing anti-male bias in sexual assault services for the “LGBT” community. 2008.
  6. 6.
    Cook-Daniels L. “Atypical” sexual abuse survivors and perpetrators: Where are the male victims and female perpetrators? (Part Two of Two). In: Victimization of the elderly and disabled. vol. 11, no. 5. Civic Research Institute; 2009.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cook-Daniels L. The partner abuse state of knowledge project. In: Victimization of the elderly and disabled, vol. 16, no. 3. Civic Research Institute; 2013.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Department of Justice. Frequently asked questions: Nondiscrimination grant condition in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. 2014. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  9. 9.
    Douglas E, Hines D. The helpseeking experiences of men who sustain intimate partner violence: an overlooked population and implications for practice. J Fam Violence. 2011;26(6):473–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duberman M, Vicinus M, Chauncey G, editors. Hidden from history: reclaiming the gay and lesbian past. New York: New American Library; 1989.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Family Violence Prevention and Services Administration. LGBTQ (Also known as “Two-Spirited”) accessibility policy. 2014. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  12. 12.
    Feinberg L. Transgender warriors: making history from Joan of Arc to RuPaul. Boston: Beacon Press; 1996.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fredriksen-Goldsen K, et al. The aging and health report: disparities and resilience among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults. 2011. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  14. 14.
    Gates G. How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? Williams Institute. 2011. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  15. 15.
    International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). The lesbian, gay, and bisexual map of world laws. 2015. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  16. 16.
    Katz J. Gay American history: lesbians and gay men in the USA. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company; 1976.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lew M. Victims no longer: the classic guide for men recovering from sexual child abuse. 2nd ed. New York: Harper; 2004.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Miller N. Out of the past: gay and lesbian history from 1869 to the present. New York: Advocate Books; 2008.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Movement Advancement Project, SAGE and Center for American Progress. LGBT older adults: facts at a glance. 2010. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  20. 20.
    Munson M, Cook-Daniels L. Transgender individuals’ knowledge of and willingness to use sexual assault programs, a survey approved by the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Institutional Review Board. Unpublished manuscript. Milwaukee, WI; 2011.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Murray S, Roscoe W. Boy wives and female husbands: studies of African homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press; 1998.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    National Senior Citizens Law Center. LGBT older adults in long-term care facilities: Stories from the field. 2011. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  23. 23.
    NBC News. “Betrayed”: male rape victims slam Oscar-nominated filmmakers over focus on women. 2013. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  24. 24.
    Otto J, editor. Abuse and neglect of vulnerable populations. New Jersey: Civic Research Institute; 2005.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pizzey E. This way to the revolution: a memoir. London: Peter Owen Publishers; 2011.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rosin H. When men are raped: a new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators. Slate. 2014. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  27. 27.
    Stemple L, Meyer I. The sexual victimization of men in America: new data challenge old assumptions. Am J Public Health. 2014;104:e1–8.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stern K. Queers in history: the comprehensive encyclopedia of historical gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Dallas: Ben Bella Books; 2009.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Straus M. Thirty years of denying the evidence on gender symmetry in partner violence: implications for prevention and treatment. Partner Abuse. 2010;1(3):332–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tatara T, editor. Understanding elder abuse in minority populations. London: Taylor and Francis; 1999.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Walters M, Chen J, Breiding M. The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey (NISVS): 2010 findings on victimization by sexual orientation. Atlanta: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FORGE, IncMilwaukeeUSA

Personalised recommendations