Rarely do we imagine abuse between two same-sex partners when we consider instances of domestic violence. However, gays and lesbians are just as susceptible to domestic violence as our heterosexual counterparts.
So, why do we hear so little about domestic violence between gays and lesbians and why are so few cases reported?
What are the different types of abuse?
- It's difficult to determine which partner is the victim (unlike heterosexual couples where the female partner is most often the victim).
- Many gay men hesitate to report abuse for fear of exposing of their sexuality.
- Although there are help centers for LGBT victims of abuse, few general abuse centers provide specific services for lgbt individuals.
- Majority of support groups are comprised of heterosexual people. LGBT people feel they must either hide their sexuality or come out to the group.
- Many gay couples share the same group of friends, so the victim may be afraid of losing the support he or she has built.
Not all abuse or domestic violence is physical. Abuse can be in the form of:
- Hitting, beating, choking, slapping, pushing, kicking, biting, etc.
- Abandoning a partner or holding a partner down by force
- Intimidating a partner, abusing pets, stealing or selling partner's possessions
- Use or threats with a weapon of any kind
- Excessive criticism of a partner's body, clothing, or appearance
- Forcing sex or sexual situations onto a partner without consent
- Refusing to practice safer sex despite a partner's wishes
- Abusive or threatening language, yelling or intimidating
- Purposefully not showing affection
- Obsessive jealousy or blaming
- Continual perpetuating feelings of inadequacy
- Isolating the victim from family, friends or other support systems
- Blaming family and friends for relationship problems
- Spying on phone calls, emails, or IM's
- Forcing partner to choose between the relationship and loved ones
Why do people abuse their partners?
- Degrading or denying the victim's beliefs or spiritual expressions
The main motivator behind abuse is power and manipulation, which can stem from a number of the abuser's personal issues or past experiences. The important thing to realize is that the victim is not at fault. Patterns of abuse must be worked through by the abuser, and, for safety, the abused should remove themselves from the situation.
Taken from: http://gaylife.about.com/od/abusedomesticviolence/a/gayabuse.htm
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle
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