What if I am in an abusive lesbian relationship?

FAMILY Domestic Violence Services

(call any of the numbers below)
(845) 338-2370
(845) 679-2485
(845) 255-8801
(845) 647-2443

Domestic Violence Court Advocate: (845) 340-3617

“I really believed that women respected women and that I wouldn’t feel as much pain as I did in my past relationships with guys . . . unfortunately, I was wrong. Very wrong.” –  Rebecca

Psychological abuse in lesbian and gay relationships can be subtle and confusing. Political ideology and understanding of oppression can get twisted around to justify abusive behavior.

Are there differences between homosexual and heterosexual domestic violence? Domestic violence is about power and control, and the abuser’s goal is to dominate and take power from the victim, whether the partners are heterosexual or homosexual.

Many factors influence a person’s decision to stay in an abusive relationship: issues of economic dependency, lack of resources, fear, and shame.

But in a homosexual relationship, there is the threat of exposure–of “outing” the victim’s sexual orientation–if she/he tries to get help or flee. For a homosexual who has not publicly revealed his/her sexual orientation, outing can result in the loss of a job or may cause the loss of family relationships. The threat of losing children by court order can also keep an abused lesbian or gay man in a relationship.

FAMILY Domestic Violence Services  provides one-to-one counseling, shelter, legal advocacy, and support groups for anyone who has been emotionally, physically, psychologically, and/or sexually abused by their intimate partner, regardless of sexual orientation. We also provide community education, training, and consultation about lesbian and gay battering and homophobia.