Same sex domestic violence is a type of domestic violence that deserves the same attention as any other form of violence. When many people tend to think about domestic violence, they tend to think about a woman being abused by a man. Even though there are a lot of cases of that, there are also cases where the woman is abusing the man, and there are a lot a cases of like sex domestic violence.
Some might think that homosexual domestic violence is not as common as the other cases of domestic abuse.
Is same sex domestic abuse really not that common?
Or is it just that these cases are not as often brought to light because of our societal norms?
There are a lot of people that will automatically believe that lesbians are safe from domestic violence because both of the partners are women. The fact is though, women can just as easily become the abusers as men can.
It is even thought that the smaller person would never be the abusive one in the relationship. That too is false, as a lot of the power in domestic violence situations comes more from mental and emotional control, versus overpowering strength. And remember, even if the abuse has never gone physical, it is still domestic violence if there is fear and control involved.
Another myth is that there is not a place out there for those involved in same sex relationships to receive help and support.
This is simply not the case as there are many places to turn to for help. Of course, then there is the matter of reporting the same sex domestic violence crime to the police department. Many same sex partners fear that the police will not be able to properly handle the case or take it seriously.
This also, is not true. Police nowadays are getting the training they need in order to help all individuals in domestic violence situations, no matter what their gender is or the gender of their partner.
Even with all of this in mind, there are still many people who fear turning to a shelter or domestic violence organization for fear that they will be outed. While it is understandable to be afraid that someone else will take control of something else that is supposed to be in your control, there is no need to worry.
Shelters are in fact bound by extremely strict confidentiality agreements. They cannot share your information with anyone under any circumstances, with the exception of the police if there is a major issue taking place or if they are summoned by the courts. However, you do not have to worry about anyone else in the shelter knowing your same sex domestic violence situation or the volunteers talking about you outside of work.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of women that will believe that their same sex partner couldn't possibly be abusing them, because their choice in partners has kept them away from men, who they may have had an abusive past with. It is important to remember that both men and women are human and they are all subject to the same bad behavior if they lack the education, self control and mental stability to be an active and safe partner for the person they care for.
Suzana Rose, Ph.D. with the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center of the University of Missouri at St. Louis has put together a fact sheet on lesbian partner same sex domestic violence. In general various studies find that anywhere from 17-45% of lesbians report at least one incident of physical violence being committed by a lesbian partner.
Do you often fear going home?
Would you rather delay your day than have to go home to face your partner?
Have you found yourself lying about your whereabouts in order to avoid conflict?
Do you have to avoid certain shoes or articles of clothing because it will make your partner mad?
Does your partner drink or abuse drugs?
Does your partner become another person when she does these things?
Obviously, if you have ever been hit, slapped or had something thrown at you, even just once, no matter thereason, you are involved in same sex domestic violence.
Remember though, that there are many other areas of abuse besides physical abuse. You are going to want to make sure that you are really examining the situation in order to make sure that you are aware of what you are involved in. This way, you will be able to actively seek steps to remove yourself from the danger you have found yourself in.
Make sure that you are putting your fears aside about how you will be treated for being involved in same sex domestic violence. Domestic violence is domestic violence no matter the gender of those involved.
Look through your phone book or look for online resources to local shelters that you can go to. There should be one close to you. Get prepared for your departure. Plan ahead and make sure that you are taking your most personal and prized items with you. Take anything with you that you can, when you know that your partner will be gone for the day. You might not be able to return to your home for a while for your things.
However, if the situation is extremely dangerous and you are not able to get much in the way of free time to gather your things, the clothes on your back will do just fine. There are many organizations out there that can help you rebuild your life, including getting you a new wardrobe and personal items.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about and a lot to plan if you find that you are indeed involved in a case of same sex domestic violence. Do not allow fear to control you any longer. There is help out there. You simply have to make sure that you are reaching out for it. The sooner you do this, the better off you will be. Don't wait for the situation to get worse - get out now!