Same-Sex Domestic Violence-

  • DanBasil

    Posts: 173

    Jul 05, 2008 10:26 PM GMT
    Hi all, I work for the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project ( ) and I was wondering what the views were on Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Abuse in Same-Sex relationships. Is it an issue? Besides my organization, who can help address the topic?
    Just looking to get a general discussion going.

    thanks-dan basil

    If you are experiencing an abusive relationship, we do have a hotline that you can call for support.

    Hope to see some great discussion.
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    Jul 06, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    I have rarely heard of abuse between same-sex couples, but I doubt not that it exists. I had a friend or two who said they were in abusive relationships but, of course, they were not inclined to speak of it.

    Violence does not discriminate.
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    Jul 06, 2008 12:17 AM GMT
    Hey Dan, I worked for GMDVP when we lived in Mass as well. Say hello to Curt for me!

    And yeah, my involvement stemmed from personal experience. I'd be happy to talk more by email/IM if you want.
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:21 AM GMT
    Unfortunately its occurring in epidemic proportions. In large part due to the stigmatization of same sex couples by society it largely goes unreported and when it does it is not treated with nearly the same seriousness as domestic violence within heterosexual couples. There are a number of psychological and social factors that make this a difficult situation. One police are less likely to intervene or take it seriously if reported. In the event of a male couple the police tend to view it one of a few ways; its just a couple guys settling a dispute, its just another faggot lovers quarrel, or the homo deserves what he gets. Please don't take that offensively, I don't agree with any of those, but that is the unfortunate fact of the response by law enforcement. In the event that it is reported by a female couple the view is oh its just another cat fight, or they deserve what they get for being that way. Disgusting as it is, the views among law enforcement prevent the enforcement of domestic violence laws among homosexual couples. Further, fearing the publicity and stigma attached to homosexual relationships many gays are reluctant to report it. Many communities have police logs that are printed in the paper and online, and many gays fear that others might find out and therefore are reluctant to report the abuse.

    There seems especially to be a significant problem with this among males. The view seems to be that if I was man enough I should be able to defend myself, and the reason this happened is that I wasn't man enough to stop it. As sad as that is I personally have heard that from a friend in this very situation. The very comment made me angry hearing it, because violence never establishes manliness, in fact I believe it indicates everything but manliness, a real man has enough control of himself that violence is never an option. Unfortunately there is great shame and self-loathing in individuals stuck in these relationships, because if they really had any self worth at all they would not tolerate the abuse and would leave the S.O.B doing this. There is also great fear of retribution or harassment for reporting it. For a simple example, an abused lover calls the cops for domestic violence, and now the cops follow them constantly, if they drive two miles an hour over the speed limit they are pulled over for speeding. A report to law enforcement of homosexual domestic abuse is often times followed by what should be considered police harassment. Yes in the 21st century this still happens and is a significant concern and impediment to reporting the crime.

    It's also very rarely noticed among support professionals. Hospital staff, social workers, teachers, law enforcement, domestic violence staff, etc. are all trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse, spouse abuse, domestic violence but that training is rarely if ever delivered in the context of homosexual relationships and therefore it goes unnoticed and underreported.

    Because of all the issues that come with acceptance of homosexuality and the trouble that many people have in coming to terms with this there are numerous issues that are unique to the gay population and these factors complicate this issue. For example, it's well established that there is a disturbing link between teen homosexuality and depression and suicide attempts. When someone is struggling with fundamental identity issues and depression, it seriously complicates the issue of domestic violence, whether it be emotional or physical violence. Number one, they lack the normal social support network. If a female in a heterosexual relationship is abused, she is likely to have friends, family, sisters, trusted people like counselors, pastors, youth group leaders, teachers, etc. that she can turn to and trust. Unfortunately, that kind of social support is severely lacking for homosexual people and often times even if it does exist the person in that situation already has trust, identity and self esteem issues that prevent them from using the social resources available. Further, because of the more limited choice in available partners, often times especially young gay people are reluctant to end a violent relationship because they seem to think that having someone, even if they are violent is better then having no one. Many of them also fear being cast out of the social circle if they say anything about the abuse. There are a huge number of factors that complicate the recognition and reporting of abusive relationships within the homosexual population and until there is a sufficient focus on public education regarding this issue it is not likely to get better.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Jul 06, 2008 3:35 AM GMT
    I agree wtih YngHung... I would think its a real issue
    in relationships.

    In addition, I've often wondered about abuse when one dates.... or for that matter even someone who goes to someones home for a hookup. I've never seen that discussed here before. There MUST be issues and for those abused, a real reluctance to report anything to the police.

    This is one topic I'd really like to see discussed!
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Jul 06, 2008 3:59 AM GMT
    I was in an abusive relationship. Some of it was physical, more of it was psychological. Very rarely I raised my hand back (does that make me an abuser back?). I didn't know of any resources in my medium sized US city that would help LGBT folk.

    We have a local domestic violence organization, DVIS, which at that time, spoke of domestic violence exclusively in terms of male on female violence.

    I made it a mission literally to call them/their ED, calling them on their heterosexism whenever I saw them/heard them speak. Now, their language, at least, is more inclusive though I don't know what your real experience with them would be if you needed help.
    These days I donate my old cell phones to them whenever I get a new one, but sometimes, just going into drop the old phone off, you feel like you're viewed with suspiscion (sp?) by virtue just of your gender.

    But whatever, I experienced, I've heard of much worse, furniture destroyed, bones broken, the emergency room doc's knowing your name, from a buddy of mine.

    Same gender domestic violence, and even female on male DV do exist even if they are less common than male on female.
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    Jul 06, 2008 5:00 AM GMT

    YngHung is right on target and I speak from experience. Back in '77. I left a guy the first time he came at me after 6 months of trying to make things work. I was beaten black and blue. I was stalked for 3 months after and police? They just said they didn't get involved with homo issues. I shot back with, "What makes this a homo issue?" They couldn't tell, so next thing I knew they had a file for me and they went and had a little chat with the guy. He lay off. Then a year later tried to 'make up'. Uck. So though I agree that it shouldn't be a gay issue- it's made so by the very folks we're supposed to turn to for help!

  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Jul 06, 2008 10:35 AM GMT
    DanteCA saidI have rarely heard of abuse between same-sex couples, but I doubt not that it exists. I had a friend or two who said they were in abusive relationships but, of course, they were not inclined to speak of it.

    Violence does not discriminate.

    I have heard of it all too often. It's really sad and it starts out in emotional abuse.
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:22 AM GMT
    Yes it does occur, although I don't know whether it is a bigger problem in a gay relationship then it is in a straight one. I have not known any gay person that was physically abused, but I have known gay people who were emotionally abused. I have also known a couple where one person was claiming he was not cheating, but in actual fact he was participating in orgies! I would label that as abuse as well.
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    Jul 07, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    Violence is everywhere, that being said we are all human thus does it really adhore you to know others may abuse their loved ones.
    I personally was in a relationship where i'd just about let my lover do what he wanted to me when he got mad. On my account it wasn't a very wise move but being only 5ft. and only 135lbs. as compared to his 6'2" and however much he weighed it all came down to whether or not I wanted to hurt him back.
    I think for me it came down to I don't want other in my life so I saw no reason in calling the cops, he on the other hand wanted everyone involved, it was part of the reason why we didn't last too long.
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    Jul 07, 2008 8:25 PM GMT
    From my experience, I haven't really seen a lot of physical abuse in both the relationships I've been in, and the ones my friends have been in, but more psychological abuse. It's usually degrading of a partner to where they become dependant on the dominant figure for everything and are afraid to leave because of "everything he/she does for me." BUT, that's not to say that I haven't seen some doozy situations: one friend of mine dated a bouncer (He was a twink). They got drunk one night and go into a physical fight in the bathroom. It escalated to the point that my friend hopped on the bouncer's back and bit off a chunk of his ear! The whole mess got worse when we found out later that the bouncer had HIV, got the cops involved, etc. So, I'd say it's definitely an issue, and not just to the gay community, but I'd say it's more mental abuse when it comes to gay guys that physical abuse, from what I've seen and heard.
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    Jul 07, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    This is not a new issue with the homosexual
    community[s]. In fact it's a very old one. One even the homosexual community[s] ignored for a very long time. So this is not something where the blame gets pushed onto the str8 community[s]. It's one the gay community is taking hold of.

    But even down here in Oz, it's now an issue, and there is also a help line, so you are not on your own, and legal action can also be taken; not that it could not in the past.

    There are a lot of mean insecure controlling gays out there. I've encountered a few, whom feel they have the right to abuse One, because One uses the term One; It's a birth right..........ISSUES. Imagine all the negative issues they take into a relationship too, and these fester and erupt into violence.

    Gay men need to be strong, and stop passing the blame, and stand corrected for their very own issues, and not just pass them on.

    It's about time some action is being taken on this.

    Wonder how the dyke's are dealing with the truth of fact, they are more aggressive, and abusive than men! Traits they hate in men.
  • DanBasil

    Posts: 173

    Sep 12, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    This is a great start to a discussion on this topic. My agency has done some survey work over several years in New England and has found that the prevalence rate of persons being victims of domestic partner abuse is the same between same-sex and non-same-sex partners. (1 in 4) icon_sad.gif

    Not a great picture.

    I hope that the GLBT community can come together in addressing these concerns as we gain more and more rights and options in life.
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    Sep 12, 2008 11:52 PM GMT

    muchmorethanmuscle saidWe don't have to make this a "gay" concern.

    Why do guys here say this all the time?! This is a gay site, we are discusssing gay issues, and the OP works for the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project. He isn't concerned with abused pets, abused women, but abused gay men. They MATTER too.

    I can't really offer any real insight on this issue since I have no experience in it whatsoever. Not one of my lovers have ever raised a hand to me and I could never strike anyone.icon_lol.gif All I can really offer is my confusion over this. I don't understand how people justify beating and hurting people they say they love. Or, how they can stand having a bed mate of theirs look like a swollen plum because they have anger issues. My mother was battered, but she use to hit him too. They battered eachother. I've never known a battered gay man, but the women I knew were always so argumentative or just so weak and naive, it seemed like they could control the issue better if they took some initiative.

    My household was a war zone, but it was so easy to grow up and walk away. The adults could have done that anytime. Yeah, I really don't understand this. In my mind, It's way to easy to remove yourself from a harmful situation, just leave. However, on LifeTime, the boyfriends follow them and stalk them. Thank god for small favors, I hope I never have to deal with anything like that.