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Author Topic: Domestic Violence The Dangerous Hidden Secret  (Read 164 times)

Mary-Jane

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Domestic Violence The Dangerous Hidden Secret
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:22:10 PM »
The dangerous hidden secret that shows how real homophobia still is

Do you have a picture in your mind of what domestic abuse looks like? For a lot of people, this may be a man attacking a woman.

However, same-sex and trans relationships are just as likely to turn abusive. It’s thought that around 25% of LGBT people suffer through violent or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners – roughly the same proportion as heterosexual women.

Quote
2 Studies That Prove Domestic Violence Is an LGBT Issue
The CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, released again in 2013 with new analysis, reports in its first-ever study focusing on victimization by sexual orientation that the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner was 43.8 percent for lesbians, 61.1 percent for bisexual women, and 35 percent for heterosexual women, while it was 26 percent for gay men, 37.3 percent for bisexual men, and 29 percent for heterosexual men (this study did not include gender identity or expression).
http://tranz4mations.net.au/index.php?topic=6328.0


Because of entrenched homophobia and transphobia, many LGBT victims are reluctant to seek help for fear of discrimination. And, as with heterosexual couples, they may not even realise that what they are experiencing is abuse.

And, tragically, the support system for LGBT victims is not nearly strong enough. Earlier this month Broken Rainbow, the UK’s only national LGBT domestic violence charity, collapsed.

Their helpline will continue, but it is now being operated by Galop UK.

It is a valuable lifeline for many people, because there are some aspects of abuse that are specific to LGB and trans relationships.

While it’s hard to summarise something so complex into just a few points, here are the things you need to look out for if you are in an abusive same-sex relationship, if you’re trans, or if either you or your partner are HIV+.

An abuser will get in your head

At first, your partner may be the most romantic person you’ve ever been with – sometimes overwhelmingly so.

You’ll find things moving really fast. Faster than you’re comfortable with. Your partner might want exclusivity straight away, and may even push you into living together, or getting married.

Then they start getting jealous about you talking to other men or women. Then talking to friends. Then family. This is how abusers isolate their victims, and cut them off from their support networks.

Domestic abuse in LGBT relationships

Before you know it, they are demeaning, hurting and insulting you more than they are making you feel loved. You keep hoping for the romantic person you first met, but spend most of your time being controlled by this person instead.

They might even force or coerce you into sex acts, or push you into sexual contact that demeans or humiliates you.

They might threaten to ‘out’ you

If you’re not openly gay or bisexual, your partner will threaten to ‘out’ you to friends, family, religious communities, colleagues or other people in your life.

This is a method of control – one that is made particularly worse by a perceived lack of support for LGBT people outside of the community.

You start feeling insecure about your sexuality

Your abuser might use homophobic and heterosexist insults against you, even though they’re homosexual or bisexual too.

Heterosexism is any discrimination based on the perception of heterosexuality as ‘the norm’ and homosexuality as ‘other’.

An abusive partner will tap into any internalised homophobia you have and use it to control you. They will subtly make you feel ashamed of who you are.

After a while you start associating your sexual orientation with the abuse – and you start blaming the abuse on your sexuality.

If you start feeling like you wouldn’t be experiencing this abuse if you weren’t lesbian, gay or bisexual, it is not true – that is the abuser trying to break down your sense of self-worth.

An abuser will use homophobic and heterosexist insults against you If you’re trans, they make you feel like a lesser person

Your partner may repeatedly misgender you by refusing to use the correct pronouns (for example, referring to you as ‘he’ instead of ‘she’ or vice versa).

They might even use the outright offensive, dehumanising pronoun, ‘it’.

You don’t feel comfortable in your own skin because your partner ridicules your appearance, and tells you that you’re not a real man or woman.

This is all a way of tapping into your insecurities, breaking down your sense of self-worth and making you dependent on them.

If your partner denies your access to medical treatment or hormones, or tries to coerce you into not getting medical treatment, then this should ring major alarm bells.

Abusers might repeatedly misgender you

If you’re HIV+, they use this against you

A loving partner will provide you with as much support as you need. An abuser, however, will use your HIV+ to control you.

They sometimes threaten to ‘out’ you, by telling other people about your HIV status when you don’t want them to know.

Your partner might use your health status to assume power over your finances, effectively making you completely dependent on them.

They might even restrict, or try to restrict your access to medical care.

An abuser who is HIV+ may use their health status to manipulate you.

It’s essentially emotional blackmail – an abuser will suggest (or sometimes outright say) that they will become ill or die if you leave them.

In particularly bad cases, your partner might infect you – or threaten to infect you – with HIV. Even threatening this is another way of exerting control.

I think this might be happening to me

If this sounds like your relationship, it doesn’t matter if your partner is physically violent or not.

This is already abuse.

But you don’t have to suffer alone.

Are there any support networks for LGBT abuse victims?

There are support systems for LGBT victims of domestic violence and abuse, but sadly, as the case of Broken Rainbow shows, they are woefully underfunded.

And while non-LGBT-specific refuges are open to victims of same-sex abuse, lesbian and bisexual women are still at risk in women-only centres.

‘When a refuge assumes that by creating a women-only space they are keeping all of their victims safe, they have let down lesbian and bisexual women, as their abuser could still gain access,’ Jo Harvey Barringer, interim managing director of Broken Rainbow, said in a call for better services two years ago.

Similarly, the doors of women-only refuges are closed to men, and often also to trans women.

Definition of Hats aka "Conflict of Interest" Statement: Mary-Jane is Editor of Perth Gay News, The Media Annuncio of the Perth Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of the Abbey of the Black Swan & Editor @ HIV Institute of WA.

#Twitter @AbbeyBlackSwan1

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Domestic Violence The Dangerous Hidden Secret
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:22:10 PM »