First and Foremost, Thank you for taking the time to visit our page learn more about our Empowerment Fund created to help victims of same-sex partner abuse. This serious issue in our community is often silent and resources are desperately needed to educate people of all ages as well as provide assistance to those who have been victimized or are currently being victimized by an abuser.
(an excerpt from an upcoming article in VIP Magazine) "I don't think I will ever forget the smell of Bourbon Street that night." Johnny said, "but there I was...hiding underneath a car as quiet and still as I could be, eyes filled with fear not tears, praying that he wouldn't find me." Johnny and Chris had been in a relationship for the past four years, but Johnny had decided that he had had enough and the relationship was over. He knew he had to tell Chris and he that night he did. "I don't even know what I was thinking at the time," Johnny recounts. "I guess I thought that since Chris knew he had been the unfaithful one, the controlling one, and the abusive one, that somehow he knew our story wasn't a forever story." Shaking his head, Johnny continued,"I honestly believed that he loved me and convinced myself that he would never truly hurt me. I mean, he certainly said as much during his many apologies. I trusted him to love me," Johnny stated lowering his head trying to keep the tears out of his eyes even after all these years. Six months prior, Chris finally admitted to Johnny all of his "indiscretions", but of course only after Johnny caught him one evening coming out of a bathhouse when he said he was at work. Johnny agreed to give the relationship more time, but he knew it was over. "When Chris was angry; of course,I had always said or done something that was inappropriate or that he told me not to do, and I did anyway; so he'd throw me into a wall or break stuff and tell me I was lucky it wasn't me." said Johnny. "He constantly told me that he was protecting me and that I had no idea how hard it was "out" there. His usual rant/apology after calling me a whore or accusing me of being unfaithful and wanting men to flirt with me when we were out." TO BE CONTINUED: LOOK FOR MORE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE OF VIP. (Names and other details have been changed to protect people’s identities.)
The NCADV reports that gay men experience abuse in intimate partner relationships at a rate of 2 in 5 and nearly 50% of lesbians has experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes.
LGBT domestic violence and especially same-sex intimate partner violence (IPV) is vastly underreported, unacknowledged, and underfunded. At the end of 2015, the only national organization that focused on resources and help for victims of IPV shut down and while the organization moved some of it’s programs to other organizations, VIP’s SSPA empowerment fund will be specifically targeted to understanding the numbers behind this issue and helping victims heal by telling their stories, as well as providing resources for victims for exiting IPV relationships and providing legal funding to hold abusers accountable for their actions.
In 2015, the amendments to the violence act included provisions for the LGBT community and also provided a framework for victims to seek monetary damages against their abusers. “Same-Sex IPV is about power and control”, says VIP Publisher Rick Lara, “and I think that the criminal consequences don’t affect those type of people, but in the LGBT community the civil consequences could.”
According to a 21 year veteran therapist in New York City, abusive relationships are, of course, emotionally draining for the victim. “It’s disorienting,” he says, “One minute they’re telling you they love you, and being strong, and loving and positive; then they’re cheating on you, or not respecting you, and not paying attention to what you need.”
Data on the rates of same-sex partner abuse have only become available in recent years. Even today, many of the statistics and materials on domestic violence put out by organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Justice still focus exclusively on heterosexual relationships, and specifically heterosexual women. While the CDC does provide some resources on its website for the LGBT population, the vast majority of the information is targeted at women. Materials provided by the CDC for violence prevention and survivor empowerment prominently feature women in their statistics and photographs.
“Our community and especially each and every single one of us, must change the way we look at and identify domestic violence in our relationships,” say VIP Magazine publisher Rick Lara. “I can tell you that intimate partner violence and abuse is 100% an issue of power and control and has nothing to do with gender.”
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Several leading therapists specializing in male same-sex abuse specifically report that when one person in a relationship isn’t as “successful” as his partner that the odds of abusive acts and behavior being committed by the “lessor” partner are 75% higher than if their success levels were equal. Similarly, if the more successful partner is the younger person in the relationship, the odds increase to almost 90%. “He feels intimidated and threatened by the success and stability of his partner, so he becomes abusive.”