Patrick Dati had reached his breaking point.
With a metal pin in his arm and Vicodin coursing through his veins, he picked up the phone to call his psychiatrist.
Dati had undergone surgery for a broken arm after his then-boyfriend allegedly threw him down the stairs when he tried to leave their home.
Now he sat on the phone with his doctor, explaining why he couldn't carry on, as he tried to overdose on painkillers.
The attempt to end his life, which landed him in a psychiatric ward for two days, resulted in part because he felt trapped in the abusive relationship and saw no way out.
"I couldn't let my boyfriend go because he wasn't allowing me to," Dati said.
Dati is one of an estimated 3.4% of adults who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, referred to as LGBT, in the United States. He's also one of a quarter of gay men in America who report having encountered intimate partner violence.
While Dati reached out to LGBT resources for help while he was ensnared in the abusive relationship, including the Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project's 24-Hour crisis hot line in Chicago, many in his position find that help is hard to come by.
Now, thanks to new LGBT-inclusive language in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, signed into law this month, domestic violence victims like Dati will have access to many of the same abuse and trauma services as victims of heterosexual partner violence.
Ty Cobb, the senior legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said the new language explicitly includes the LGBT community in the largest Violence Against Women Act grant program, the STOP grant program.
Previously, there was no grant money specifically allocated to providing domestic violence services and outreach for the LGBT population.
"This provides funding to care providers who collaborate with prosecution and law enforcement officials to address domestic violence," Cobb said.
Originally passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. President Obama signed the reauthorization into law in Washington on March 7, saying it was a "day of the advocates, a day of the survivors."
The act's new language highlights the reality that LGBT people also experience intimate partner and sexual violence.
After the announcement, the president of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Katie Ray-Jones, said in statement: "This legislation that extends protections to all victims no matter their race, legal status or sexual orientation sends an important message that no victim should be excluded from receiving critical resources that will help them live a life free of abuse."
Human rights and domestic violence activists say LGBT people are an underserved population when it comes to victim services and outreach.
According to a study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 45% of LGBT victims were turned away when they sought assistance from a domestic violence shelter. Nearly 55% of those who filed for protection orders were denied them.
Lack of access to services is not exclusive to the LGBT community; heterosexual victims are also turned away from shelters, usually for lack of space or funding as opposed to intolerance. According to the Missouri Council Against Sexual and Domestic Violence Services, the state turned away 19,000 victims in 2011 from shelters because of inadequate space.
Still, not all states have laws ensuring the availability of civil orders of protection to LGBT victims, which may further contribute to victims' isolation.
"When we don't include LGBT in the conversation, when we have conversations that assume this is violence that only happens to women as perpetrated by men, we aren't giving LGBT the language to talk about their own relationships," said Sharon Stapel, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
"By omission, we're saying 'you don't matter -- you're not a part of this.'"
The Violence Against Women Act language comes at a pivotal time, as incidences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender violence have come under more scrutiny.
A 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that the prevalence of intimate partner violence was higher in some LGBT relationships than in their heterosexual counterparts: 61% of bisexual women and 44% of lesbian women reported intimate partner violence versus 35% of heterosexual women. Meanwhile, 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men reported being assaulted or stalked by a partner, compared with 29% of heterosexual men.
The special report of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey was the first of its kind to present comparisons between groups by sexual orientation.
According to Stapel, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization breaks down the barriers that LGBT people face when they recognize their relationship is unhealthy and violent -- and decide to reach out for support.