What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence occurs in 1 in 4 same sex relationships.
Domestic violence/abuse can be difficult to identify, especially for the person experiencing it. Domestic violence/abuse is a systematic pattern of controlling behaviour that can include but is not limited to physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse within the context of an intimate or family relationship.
Gay and Bisexual men can experience domestic abuse regardless of age, social class, physical or learning disability, mental health, immigration status, race or religion. It can be difficult for Gay and Bisexual men to talk about domestic abuse for a number of reasons including the lack of specialist support services, feeling ashamed and isolated and fear of a homophobic or biphobia response from mainstream service providers.
How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?
Are you in a relationship with someone who
- Isolates you from friends and family
- Plays mind games
- Controls all the finances
- Is excessively jealous and controlling
- Puts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself
- Manipulates you
- Constantly checks up on you
- Damages your property
- Threatens to “out you to family ,friends and work colleagues “
- Blames you for the abusive behaviour
- Hits you, shoves you or punches you
- Threatens you with weapons
- Pressurises you to have sex
- Prevents you from practising safer sex
- Blames alcohol or drugs for their behaviour
- Threatens to tell people you are HIV positive (whether you are or not)
- Withold medication
- Tells you, you are not a real Gay or Bisexual man
- Harasses you at work or college
- Tell you this is normal in same sex relationships
- Threaten to kill themselves if you leave
If you answered yes to a number of the above you could be in an abusive relationship.
What can I do?
Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling behaviour that escalates in frequency and severity.
Does your abuser say it won’t happen again? Has it?
If you are in an abusive relationship it is important that you think about your safety. Whether you decide to remain in the relationship or not, it is a good idea to develop a safety plan that aims to minimise the psychological and physical risk to yourself or others. A safety plan can include contact numbers for support, a safe place to stay if things escalate, and a ‘things to take’ ie identification and money if you need to leave quickly. You can develop a safety plan by yourself with a friend, support worker or counsellor.
For your own safety when you search for information or communicate about partner abuse – do not use any computer to which your abuser has access. If you do, make sure you clear your browsing history.
If your partner (or ex-partner) has assaulted you or you are afraid for your own or others’ safety you can call the Police in an emergency – always ring 999.
Remember you are not responsible for the abuse and not to blame for the abusers behaviour get support from someone you trust.