DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: IN LGBT RELATIONSHIPS
Domestic abuse happens in same-sex relationships. Surveys suggest there is domestic abuse in 1 out of 4 same-sex relationships.
DOMESTIC ABUSE IN GAY RELATIONSHIPS
- Gay and bi men who are experiencing domestic abuse may decide not to seek help or support for a variety of reasons.
- They feel that no-one will understand or believe them, no help available
- They will be treated with contempt, the abuse is their fault, they’re to blame
- They hope their partner will change, they have said sorry and will never do it again
- Once someone starts using abuse the abuse is likely to escalate and get worse. The abuser makes a promise to change and stop the abuse, sometimes even with the best intention, abusers choose not to change.
DIFFERENT WAYS MEN EXPERIENCE AND ARE AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC ABUSE
- Threatening to ‘out you’ or to stay closeted if they aren’t out or harm themselves if you leave.
- Verbally abusing you about your HIV or sexually transmitted infection status.
- Threatening to infect you (by not practicing safe sex) if they have HIV or sexually transmitted infections.
- Violating your boundaries, pressuring you into having sex with other men or to take drugs or alcohol to get into the ‘mood’ for sex.
DOMESTIC ABUSE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS
The typical image of a battered woman is a heterosexual woman attempting to hide a black eye but domestic abuse does not just happen to straight couples. Domestic abuse statistics show that abuse is just as prevalent in LGBT relationships as it is in heterosexual couples. In fact, 30% of couples struggle with domestic abuse of some sort.
MYTHS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE FOR LESBIANS
- Lesbian relationships can’t have domestic abuse, they are both women.
- Only the “butch” partner can be abusive.
- It must be “mutually abusive” or “fighting” if both partners are of the same sex.
- A physically smaller partner cannot abuse a larger partner.
- Drugs or alcohol are to blame for the abuse if the aggressor only attacks when under the influence.
- There is no place for lesbian victims of domestic abuse to get help.
- It’s not abuse because she only threatens and puts me down. She has never hit me.
CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
- Are you afraid of your partner? Have they hit you, thrown things at you, threatened to harm you or your family?
- Does your partner try to control what you do and who you see?
- Have you ever been forced to have sex or unprotected sex?
- Does your partner threaten to “out” you?
If you answered “yes” – even once – your partner may be abusive. Talk with somebody you trust – a friend, relative, someone from work, your house of worship,
or a health care practitioner. Remember everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Don’t let your partner control or mistreat you. Help is available.