Domestic abuse is a topic that is depressingly relevant. These are essential matters that all of us need to discuss and raise awareness about them. But just as important as domestic abuse in heterosexual relationships is, so is the ongoing abuse in LGBTQ relationships.
Did you know that more than 40% of lesbians and more than 60% of bisexual women have experienced rape? Did you know that, according to a study, the same thing happened to more than 50% of gay men? Do you know about all the awful things that happen to transgender victims? Probably not, as not many of us researched these matters. And that is very scary and completely unforgivable.
Don’t stay calm
First and foremost, it’s important to know that you should, under no circumstances, stay quiet if you experienced, or are experiencing domestic abuse in your relationship. On the other hand, perhaps you know someone who’s going through this, and you have to give them the best possible advice – staying quiet is never one.
It is perfectly natural to feel shame or embarrassment in these situations, but that’s not the reason to let the world know what is happening and make a better life for yourself. It’s only by being more assertive and open that you will change the world, and perhaps only one instance will be more than enough to encourage plenty of others to come forward with their own examples.
Ask for professional help
Admitting there is a problem is the first step towards the solution. Once you do that, make sure that you ask for help. This can either be from your parents, friends or relatives; that is, people who are familiar with your relationship and whom you can trust. It’s incredible how better you will feel once you take that problem out of your chest and admit that there is a problem.
On the other hand, there is always the option of seeking professional help. This can either come in the form of talking to a psychologist or the police, and this is an issue that will be looked into almost everywhere in the world. There are some great people out there who will be more than happy to help you regardless of where you live, so it will not be difficult to find great criminal lawyers in Parramatta if you’re in Australia or any other place in the world.
You might feel that domestic abuse is the battle between sexes and that nobody will be willing to help you out if you’re in a same-sex relationship, and this is where you would be wrong. Intimate partner violence (IVP for short) is not about genders, it’s about power and control dynamics, so it’s very common to happen in same-sex relationships as well.
Know when it’s over
In many cases, fighting with your boyfriend or girlfriend is not an alarming matter. Couples fight, and that’s just how it goes. But the problem starts once we start thinking that domestic abuse is the same as fighting. Hence, you have to understand first for yourself, and then educate all the people around you that there is a big difference between a conflict and abuse.
Think of it this way – is the abuse that an individual is suffering coming from homophobia? If you are experiencing that abuse, would you stay quiet if it came from a random passenger on the street? One of the mistakes that many of us make is the fact that we always associate our partner with something that’s nice, and more often than not, we idolize our relationship, even if we have certain problems. Know when it’s over, and when to move on. It will be difficult and painful, but after all, there’s no need for any of us to live a life we’re not satisfied with, no matter how much we love the other person.
Some might say that these things are easier said than done. And they would be right – this is never an easy situation, and plenty of us can only talk about it without knowing it for sure. But change can come; it’s not impossible. However, it starts with you, and it’s imperative that you know you can do it, and you’re not alone.