Monday, May 19, 2008

Domestic Violence in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Relationship

Michael at Gaytwogether has another useful article today that looks at the issue of domestic violence in gay relationships. Just last week I was talking with a relatively new friend and was surprised to discover that he had been in an abusive relationship from which he was still endeavoring to sever all ties. Since he hardly struck me as the type to have been on the receiving end of what was pretty severe abuse, it underscored to me how wide spread the problem may be. Far too many may find themself in such a relationship and not know where to turn or, due to the constant denigration they may have recieve from family, church or society in general, feel subconsciously that they deserve to be abused.
Unfortunately, as the article points out, depending upon where one lives, the available resources may be slim to non-existent. Moreover, in areas such as the Norfolk area, many gays have to remain semi-closeted due to the lack of any employment non-discrimination protections for LGBT citizens. Naturally, this increases the odds that an abusive partner may threaten to "out" the other partner at work or - worse yet where the partner is military - to the applicable military command. As the article also aptly points out, abuse can involve other aspects besides physical abuse. Moreover, if the abusing partner will not admit there is a problem and diligently seek help (be it therapy, medications, or both), it is utterly useless to hope that somehow that person will miraculously change. Here are a few highlights:
In many ways, domestic violence in lesbian, bisexual and gay relationships is the same as in opposite-gendered (e.g., heterosexually-paired) relationships:
*** No one deserves to be abused.
Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and involve verbal behavior used to coerce, threaten or humiliate.
*** Abuse often occurs in a cyclical fashion.
*** The purpose of the abuse is to maintain control and power over one's partner.
*** The abused partner feels alone, isolated and afraid, and is usually convinced that the abuse is somehow her or his fault, or could have been avoided if she or he knew what to do.
In same-sex abuse, a pattern of violence or behaviors exists where one seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of their intimate partner, or to punish their partner for resisting their control. This may been seen as physical or sexual violence, or emotional and verbal abuse. An additional form of emotional abuse for someone who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual may be to “out” them at work or to family or friends.

1 comment:

Java said...

Women in hetero abusive relationships are usually ashamed to admit it. I imagine many gay men are ashamed to admit to being in abusive situations, too, which makes it even more difficult to deal with the problem.