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YSL Beauty’s ‘Abuse Is Not Love’ Initiative Unveils New Research Index Focused on Intimate Partner Violence In LGBTQIA+ Communities

The results of this international study, created in partnership with non-profit ‘It’s On Us,’ uncovers new data to expand the development of resources and education

  • 41% have experienced IPV across 2002 LGBTQIA+ respondents in the USA
  • 58% US respondents agree they are less supported than other communities
  • 45% of LGBTQIA+ USA respondents don’t know where to find support

PARIS, Aug. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — YSL Beauty expands Abuse is Not Love, its global initiative to prevent intimate partner violence1, by sharing new findings from an unprecedented international study that focuses on the lived experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. Developed by renowned gender and relationships researcher Dr. Beth A. Livingston and campus sexual assault prevention nonprofit ‘It’s On Us,’ the research index explored the perceptions of toxic, abusive, and healthy relationships. The resulting data uncovers insights that will inform solutions and educational resources as Abuse is Not Love continues to develop new programming.

In 2020, Abuse Is Not Love was created to prevent and fight against intimate partner violence, a global issue experienced by 1 out of 3 women in their lifetime, according to UN data. Abuse is a worldwide problem that affects people of all backgrounds, genders, classes, and nationalities.  With this new research index, Abuse is Not Love sought to shine a light on what LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals have experienced in abusive relationships and to better support a community often excluded in current research.

At the heart of the study’s findings was that the LGBTQIA+ community found greater barriers to access for support services and a lack of available information to find support. To address this issue, and to underscore that abuse can occur in any relationship, across gender identity and sexual orientation, Abuse is Not Love will continue providing education and training modules with nonprofit partners and will create additional programming with the specific experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals in mind.  

In the US, a local program is under development for college campuses in partnership with ‘It’s On Us.’ This will include healthy relationships training, increased programming dedicated to LGBTQIA+ individuals and their needs, and more accessible services to embolden YSL Beauty’s commitment to celebrating love in any form.  Simultaneously, YSL Beauty is enhancing its global programming to ensure that its services are fully inclusive and engineered to provide education and resources for the most impacted communities.  

The impetus for this study began when Dr. Beth A. Livingston (professor, author, researcher) designed a research program with campus sexual assault prevention organization ‘Its On Us,’ on the perceptions of abusive and healthy relationships. This initial study focused on a population of 18-25-year-old college students in the USA, diverse across ethnicities, gender identity and sexual orientation2. It found a greater need for informative data to understand the lived experiences of IPV within the LGBTQIA+ community, inspiring the current study. 

The larger research index centers on sharing the experiences of 6,000 LGBTQIA+ respondents, shedding light on the particular trends and issues that they face in their relationships across five markets: USA (2,000 respondents), UK (1,000 respondents), France (1,000 respondents), Spain (1,000 respondents), and Germany (1,000 respondents). The goal: to better understand their experiences and to further Abuse is Not Love’s mission to help prevent intimate partner violence and to promote healthy relationships. To date, YSL Beauty through Abuse Is Not Love has educated 493,000 people on the warning signs of abuse with the goal to educate 2 million by 2030. 

The study asked respondents questions about 19 behaviors4 that are key warning signs of abuse and asked participants (a) if they had ever engaged in these behaviors in a relationship, (b) if they had ever been targeted by these behaviors in a relationship, and (c) if they perceived these behaviors as signs of IPV. The study also asked participants how comfortable they would be talking to a loved one experiencing IPV, how comfortable they would feel to getting support if they were experiencing IPV, the biggest barriers to accessing support in general.  

The results revealed greater instances of reporting of certain abusive behaviors and greater barriers to access for LGBTQIA+ individuals when it comes to receiving support, including fear of isolation and stigmatization from peers, parents and friend groups. 

Results of the findings in the US included:

  • 41% US respondents have been the victim of IPV in a relationship
  • 32% US respondents have been accused of Intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • 58% of US respondents agree* with the statement, ‘The LGBTQIA+ community is less supported than other communities’
  • 83% of LGBTQIA+ adults surveyed across the USA have some experience of IPV
  • Being called crazy is the most common sign of IPV US respondents have experienced (40%).
  • Ignoring their partner when angry is the most common IPV behavior US respondents have displayed to a partner (33%)
  • Ignoring a partner when angry is the sign US respondents least consider to be IPV (29%).

As well as the biggest barriers to seeking help in the USA are:

  1. The LGBTQIA+ community is less supported than other communities (37%)
  2. Fear of stigmatisation (36%)
  3. Lack of representation in media i.e. LGBTQIA+ instances of IPV (29%)

Building on these findings, some global trends can be identified:

  • Over 2 in 5 (41%) respondents in the US said they have been the victim of IPV in a relationship.
  • Across all markets (US, UK, France, Spain, and Germany), over a third (35%) of female respondents said they have been the victim of IPV in a relationship, this is compared to just over a quarter (26%) of male respondents who said the same.
  • Across markets, only 38% of respondents perceived controlling social media passwords or tracking them via technology to be considered IPV; even less likely was ignoring a partner when you’re angry (24%), calling or texting repeatedly (31%) or calling them crazy (33%). These are important statistics to note, as these can be key warning signs that a relationship is abusive.
  • Across all markets, over a third of respondents in each markets said fear of stigmatization is the biggest barrier for those in the LGBTQIA+ community seeking help for IPV (US 36%)

Key Takeaways: 

  • Significant barriers exist in accessing support for those experiencing relationship abuse in the LGBTQIA+ community
  • The LGBTQIA+ community needs more inclusive resources to allow ease and understanding when seeking support
  • Healthy relationship education and inclusive role models are needed across the spectrum
  • Respondents were not likely to see the escalating nature of certain behaviors, particularly when considering intrusion, ignoring, and humiliation related behaviors
  • Important to develop educational services highlighting (a) that many behaviors can be IPV when they are used to control and (b) that seemingly benign behaviors can escalate to dangerous levels if we aren’t aware of the signs
  • Support needs to be available to those who do not wish to act against their abuser, and provide bespoke services depending on the person’s needs

“When it comes to intimate partner violence and domestic abuse, it is essential that we consider all communities. As an advisor of the Abuse is Not Love program since its inception in 2020, I am committed to helping inform and support organizations advancing research that will help provide relevant educational tools for everyone who needs them,” says Dr. Beth A. Livingston.

International General Manager at YSL Beauty Stephan Bezy, “Contributing to thought leadership is an essential part of the Abuse Is Not Love strategy. We must continue to fight abuse in all its forms and it’s even more important to be able to help offer services to communities often overlooked. Abuse is not love, it’s as simple as that.” 

In addition to continuing to support non-profit organizations that are LGBTQIA+ led through Abuse is Not Love, YSL Beauty’s programming will address specific needs related to inclusivity vs. neutrality, bolstering education around warning signs, healthy relationship education, reducing stigmas, and making programming more convenient and accessible. Importantly, these expanded services will also be accessible even for individuals who may not be prepared to act against their abuser, but who wish to access resources, ask questions, and get more information about potential support.  

“We know that LGBTQIA+ students often lack access to specialized and effective training, support, education and resources to prevent campus sexual assault and intimate partner violence, said Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director of It’s On Us. “Through work like our partnership with YSL Beauty and Abuse Is Not Love, It’s On Us is dedicated to providing all students, no matter their sexuality or gender identity, with the resources and support they need to have healthy relationships during their time in college and the rest of their lives.”

The continued education on intimate partner violence, and resources to stop the cycle, is a critical need for people everywhere, including and especially those in the LGBTQIA+ community. YSL Beauty seeks to invoke change with the ongoing support of allies, partners, organizations and educators, and make a lasting impact. 

To learn more about Abuse Is Not Love, or if  you or someone you know is experiencing abuse and needs immediate assistance, please consult the list of domestic violence helplines at

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty gives body and soul to a style. Completely liberated, it asserts itself as a collection of icons, with each creation driven by boldness, youth, and the avant-garde. In the wake of Saint Laurent, who showcased the spirit of the times for nearly 40 years, YSL Beauty continues its unbridled love affair with women to create, shape and develop modernity. No compromise. Your own rules. Now.

It’s On Us is building the movement to combat campus sexual assault by engaging all students, including young men, through grassroots organizing, prevention education programs, and large-scale culture change campaigns. Founded as an initiative of the Obama-Biden White House, It’s On Us has grown into the nation’s largest student organizing program dedicated to college sexual assault prevention, activating students on hundreds of campuses through awareness and education programs. It’s On Us is committed to shifting the culture around campus sexual assault through partnerships with media and brands that engage with millions of college students every day. It’s On Us is an initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.       

Abuse Is Not Love is a global YSL BEAUTY program to fight against and prevent intimate partner violence (IPV), the most common form of violence against women. 1 in 3 women will experience violence by a partner in their lifetime, whether it is sexual, physical, psychological, or financial. The program targets education about the warning signs of abuse to prevent it from happening to anyone experiencing it, especially young people (16-24), who have the highest vulnerability and prevalence to this issue. The program is built on 3 key pillars to have a holistic approach to fighting abuse: 1) Supporting local non-profit organizations on prevention programing in each of the brand’s markets 2) Educating 100% of YSL Beauty teams worldwide 3) Supporting thought leadership 4) Wide scale education on the warning signs of abuse. Today the program is active in 25 markets. Abuse Is Not Love aims to educate 2 million people worldwide by 2030. Join the fight here.  

1 Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is defined as domestic violence by a current or former spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other partner.
2 The study asked respondents questions about the frequency of abuse in their past relationships, and the degree to which they felt comfortable finding support and role models for healthy relationships. The results revealed greater instances of reporting of certain abusive behaviors and greater barriers to access for LGBTQIA+ individuals when it comes to receiving support, including fear of isolation from peers, parents and friends’ groups.
3 Behaviors are common warning signs of abuse, collected with NGOs and experts.

SOURCE Yves Saint Laurent Beauté

Originally published at
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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