In the straight world, the laws protecting victims from domestic violence are pretty much straight forward, but those laws become muddied when you try to apply them to homosexual relationships. But we know there’s a lot of domestic violence in the gay community as well. Let’s dig a little deeper into this issue.
The main reason why this is so is due to ignorance and the belief that domestic violence only occurs to women in straight relationships. For these reasons, similar problems are also being faced by men who are being abused by women.
Contrary to the popular belief that gay relationships are free from domestic violence, recent surveys and studies show that domestic violence is just as prevalent in gay relationships as it is in straight ones.
The statistics show that 22 to 46 percent of lesbians have experienced abuse in a same-sex relationship and 25 percent of gay males in same-sex relationships have suffered abuse. These numbers may actually be significantly higher because people in the LGBT (Lesbian; Gay; Bisexual; Transgender[ed]) community are more loath to come forward and report abuse to the authorities.
Domestic violence can take many forms and is not limited to a battery. Abuse can also take the shape of emotional, sexual and psychological abuse. In many cases, the abuse can take place over the course of years, with the victim afraid to – or unable to – protect themselves from the abuser.
In some cases, the victim cannot find the social services to deal with their particular problem and doesn’t understand who to keep things simple. In other cases, the victim may be afraid of facing severe consequences that can only be found in gay relationships. Here are just a few fears holding victims back:
- Fear of becoming publicly “outed” or of becoming the center of community gossip
- Fear of coming into contact with homophobic law enforcement and service providers
- Fear of losing non-biological children to the abuser or a third party. In most states, the parental rights of a non-biological parent in a gay relationship are not recognized unless there are legal measures to protect them. Unfortunately, some states do not allow non-biological parents to seek legal protections such as second-parent adoption
- Fear of being rejected by a small, shared circle of friends in the LGBT community
In addition to combating their own fears, lesbian; gay; bisexual; and transgender[ed]) suffering abuse may confront an ignorant justice system and abuse programs that are unable to handle their unique situation. To make matters worse, the Defense of Marriage Acts have given some states the right to not recognize a gay relationship at all. With no recognition of the relationship, no domestic abuse has taken place and victims cannot receive the help they need.
Domestic violence victims also face a hurdle when it comes to protecting themselves from the abuser legally. In at least three states same-sex couples cannot place a restraining or protective order against the abuser. Additionally, many cases of domestic violence in same-sex relationships cannot be prosecuted in family courts, but have to go through criminal courts – which have a different set of standards in recognizing and prosecuting the crime. To learn more about how you might be able to stop domestic violence, check out this page.
To reverse some of this inequality in the justice system, non-profit organizations and programs have begun to educate the public and law enforcement about the prevalence of this problem and the need to have services in place for LGBT victims of abuse. But until they recognize that abuse is occurring, help may be put on hold.
The Men You Need to Avoid
If you are one of those guys that have the unlucky curse of picking up losers, you may be wondering if there is a foolproof way to spot these type of men – the men you need to avoid – from across a crowded bar. Unfortunately, it is usually not that easy, though we’ve heard reports of women and men improving their relationships through yoga! However, with just a little practice you can quickly learn how to decipher who you need to be rid of and who is worth their weight in gold.
As I’m sure you have already found out J, there are quite a few different types of men that you need to look out for. Here is a sample of the ones that are most notable.
The Internet Stalker
These men you will meet in a chat room, or on a personals site. You correspond with them through a few emails – and then it happens. You notice they start digging for more information than you are ready to give. They want to know your address, where you work, and other things that you normally would not tell an average Internet stranger.
If you do not tell him he becomes enraged – wondering why you think you can’t trust him. He may even try to get these things himself, and will seem proud of himself once he does as if he’s showing you that you ‘can’t outsmart him’. This is one of the errors we all often make.
Obviously, this person is potentially dangerous. He may not specifically seek to harm you, though he can do much damage to your life. If he knows where you work you could get calls to your boss, or to you at work. He could even end up coming to your house.
If any of this happens it’s definitely time for some police intervention! Most areas have stalking laws, which state that if you ask someone to leave you alone – and they do not – then you can press charges. This may ruin your healthy lifestyle and cause toxic noise. If you feel you are in danger with this type of guy, you should definitely consider this an option.
This one is sometimes hard to spot right off hand. He’s sooooo sweet. He loves you more than anyone ever has. He’s your dream man. Smart and funny, he wants to keep you all to himself. Unfortunately, that is a very accurate description. He doesn’t seem interested in your friends, and he doesn’t want you to spend time with them either – translation: spend time with only him.
He wants all of your time and if you are unable to give it he will end up getting violent. He can become jealous and hyper-vigilant to your every action as if the simplest of things that you do have ulterior motives. He constantly accuses you of cheating, or he may end up threatening to leave you. He can be mentally abusive, verbally or psychologically abusive, and – often times – he may become physically abusive as well which can easily lead to serious conditions like a heart attack. These actions are the controller’s way of keeping you under his ‘control’.
If you notice these behaviors it’s time to call it quits. No matter how sweet he may appear to be, or apologetic he may appear to be, when he’s not accusing you of things – please know that this behavior is only going to get worse and it’s really bad for if you want to stay young and healthy as long as you possibly can. His goal will be to alienate you completely from your social circle so that you will be his completely, and should he ever think that you are trying to leave him, it could become worse than you could ever imagine.
The Straight Boy
Ah, yes, the straight boy. You may know these boys well. Some of them are on the football team and many of them have girlfriends. Most of them claim to be curious, or completely straight, but a little something from you is okay on the side. In a rare occasion, they will top a gay bottom. Usually, these boys are out for a quick round of oral sex with you – with you doing the giving, of course. This is always where it ends… until they need a little more.
These men may not be the worst for you physically, but mentally they are awful. Unfortunately, many gay boys fall for these straight guys. They want to believe that these boys like them. Well, face it, boys, the straight guy might like your skills – but he will never love you. Whether he is gay, or not, doesn’t matter, because he will never take the time to show you he cares. Instead, he will take what he can get and then leave you to be alone – until he needs more. He’s a user. You wouldn’t take it from anyone else, so don’t take it from him. Besides, what are you getting out of it?
There are many other men that may need to be looked out for, but these are definitely three of the most notable. If you notice any behavior in a man – behavior that you are certain you can’t live with – then it will be in your best interest to run the other way. You have the ability to notice these things at the beginning of a relationship/meeting when men are still a dime a dozen.
So, if you’re with someone, and you have an uneasy feeling that he is someone you should be avoiding, then ditch the crazy and head off to find something better. It’s the least you can do for yourself.