SafeSurf Rated

gay-on-gay violence

One very important reason why it is so hard to find out
how many gay men are battered by their mates is that
the gay community would rather not know.

-- David Island and Patrick Letellier in
Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them

In UK Big Boys Don`t Cry Rape

"People confuse rape with sexual gratification, when,
in fact, it is all about power."

— James Fellows, a mental health nurse in London, UK

Gay Men, Domestic Violence
and HIV

"On a daily basis I was humiliated, disempowered, verbally abused — for
three years. I left the relationship believing everything he said. I was a
worthless person that was nothing without him. Safe sex wasn't an
option. If you believe you aren't worth saving, then how does the
practice of safe sex coincide with that? What about you is
worth keeping safe or saving?"

Michael Barnett discusses domestic violence in the
gay community, in Positively Aware

Hold Tight Tight Hold

Same Sex Domestic Violence — a new approach in the United Kingdom

At-odds couples

Gay Partner Abuse Project

a community based non-profit organization, provides
support, education and advocacy for men who
experience violence and abuse in intimate
same sex relationships

Reports of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgendered Domestic
Violence on the Rise

by Jon Garbo at

Breaking The Silence: Sociologist
Studies Woman-to-Woman
Sexual Violence

by R. Morgan Griffin at

Domestic Violence


How an abuser can discover your internet activities

a resource provided by the
American Bar Association

Violence Begins at Home

a documentary film project


Stop Abuse For Everyone

provides advocacy, information, and support for men
and women who are the victims of domestic violence

* Violence in Same-Sex Relationship Information Project (Toronto, ON, CAN)...provides a list of common myths about abuse in lesbian relationships and gay male relationships

* Gay-on-Gay Violence (USA)...the gay community's dirty secret — domestic violence — is finally coming out of the interview with Crystal Weston, a full-time advocate for victims of gay and lesbian domestic violence in the San Francisco District Attorney's office, by Ros Davidson in Salon Magazine

* The Second Closet: Domestic Violence in Lesbian and Gay Relationships (Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia)...domestic violence in all intimate relationships is essentially about power and control, irrespective of the label attached to describe the relationship...other E Law published works related to sexual orientation are found here

* Same Sex Domestic Violence (San Francisco, CA, USA)...if the one you love or used to love is using coercion, threats and physical violence to frighten you and control your actions, then here's useful information from the folks at Community United Against Violence (CUAV)

* The STOP Partner Abuse/Domestic Violence Program (Los Angeles, CA, USA) the LA Gay and Lesbian Center...there's no excuse for partner abuse

* The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (New York City, NY, USA)...was founded in reaction to neighborhood incidents of anti-gay violence and the failure of the criminal justice system to respond

* The Network for Battered Lesbians and Bisexual Women (USA)...provides support to battered lesbians and bisexual women

* Advocates for Abused and Battered Lesbians (Seattle, WA, USA) can't beat a woman, even if you are a woman

* Lesbian & Gay Anti-Violence Project (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)...violence hurts more if you do nothing about it

* Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships (USA)...lesbian relationships involving domestic violence are not about two women 'mutually fighting'...domestic violence is about power and control; the abuser's goal is to dominate and disempower the victim

* Annual Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Domestic Violence for 1997 (USA)...prepared by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

* when love hurts (Australia)...a guide for girls (and gay guys) on love, respect and abuse in relationships...from the Domestic Violence & Incest Resource Centre (DVIRC)...working to prevent family violence

* The Rural Womyn Zone (USA)...a place for rural women to gather in an atmosphere of mutual respect

* National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) (USA)...Envisioning Our Future: Peace with Justice

* Communities Against Violence Network (CAVN) (USA)...addresses domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, violence against women, violence against people with disabilities, violence against children, and violence against gays & lesbians

* Abused Men (USA)...the hidden side of domestic violence

* Violence in Relationships (UWO, London, ON, CAN)

* Domestic Violence Information Manual (Australia)

* Domestic Violence: the Facts (USA)

* Domestic Violence Handbook (USA)...and the Violence Wheel

* Domestic Violence Information Manual (Melbourne, Australia)...produced by WISE — Women's Issues and Social Empowerment

* Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook (Washington, DC, USA)...each of us can do more and this handbook shows us how

* Domestic Violence Resources (Bethesda, MD, USA)...compiled by the National Library of Medicine

* Male Batterers factsheet (Atlanta, GA, USA)...produced by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence (Seattle, WA, USA) interreligious educational resource addressing issues of sexual and domestic violence

* Abusive Relationships (USA)...are characterized by extreme jealousy, emotional withholding, lack of intimacy, raging, sexual coercion, infidelity, verbal abuse, threats, lies, broken promises, physical violence, power plays and control games

* Vancouver General Hospital Domestic Violence Program (Vancouver, BC, CAN)...note Signs of Healthy and Un-healthy Boundaries

* Children’s Witnessing of Adult Domestic Violence...children have been called the 'silent', 'forgotten', and 'unintended' victims of adult-to-adult domestic violence

* same-sex domestic violence references (Minneapolis and St Paul, MN, USA)...compiled by Brian Short of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

Violence is ...

... a state of mind ... a way of being
... but most of all ... a sickness

Are you being abused by your spouse, your
domestic partner, your boyfriend,
your girlfriend?

PHYSICAL ABUSE includes hitting you, shoving you, slapping you, kicking you, choking you, and assaulting you, or threatening to assault you, with a weapon of any kind.

SEXUAL ABUSE includes any unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, and forcing you to have sex against your wishes. You always have the right to say NO.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE includes insulting you, calling you names, blaming you, threatening suicide if you leave him/her, keeping you from having contact with your friends and relatives, breaking your possessions, threatening or injuring his/her or your children, and injuring or killing his/her or your pets.

A batterer

Some myths about domestic
violence committed by
same-sex couples

Here's a few quotes from the Introduction to the book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them (1991) by David Island, PhD and Patrick Letellier, MA

Domestic violence is not a gender issue, since both men and women can be either batterer or victim. Domestic violence is a crime, and perpetrators are criminals. Individual acts of domestic violence are not caused by a victim's provocation, not by a violent, patriarchal society, not by alcohol or by any other excuse or rationalization one could dream up. Domestic violence is caused by individual, violent people. Because domestic violence is a decision made by a batterer, a batterer's violent actions are premeditated. Abusers intend to harm their lovers. Therefore, domestic violence is an enormous mental health problem in America. A batterer cannot possibly be seen as a mentally healthy, well-fuctioning member of a domestic couple. In fact, in this book we show that batterers suffer from a diagnosable, progressive mental disorder in their domestic setting, with their partners as the targets of their un-healthy condition, manifested most clearly just before, during, and just after one of their violent attacks. Batterers do not voluntarily seek help, cannot and do not fix themselves magically, and become increasingly abusive over time. Batterers have learned to be violent, evidencing both a disorder that is correctible through treatment and behaviour that is punishable by law. Both consequences must follow for batterers.


Victims, by and large, are normal people who are unfortunately in relationships with violent partners. Couple counseling is inappropriate and unethical as treatment, and victims unequivocally are not codependent. The only effective method so far to stop violence in the lives of victims is for the victim to get out of the relationship, stay out, and have no further contact with their former abusive partners.

Get your hands on a copy of this book.
Read it.
Think about it.
Talk about it.
Discuss it.

Island and Letellier certainly have their own axes to grind by confronting this very important and timely issue in the way that they do. It does add spice to the book. Perhaps it would be helpful to co-read this book along with something like Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul. Moore demonizes no one but views folks as a fascinating montage of both good and evil, and all points in between.

In his book, Moore makes the following comment

One of the difficulties in care of the soul is to recognize the necessity of pathos and tragedy. If we view love only from a high moralistic or hygienic peak, we will overlook its soul settling in the valley. When we reflect on the tragedies of our own loves, when we slowly find our ways through their miseries, we are being initiated into the mysterious world of the soul. Love is the means of entry and our guide. Love keeps us on the labyrinthine path. If we can honor love as it presents itself, taking shapes and directions we would never have predicted or desired, then we are on the way toward discovering the lower levels of soul, where meaning and value reveal themselves slowly and paradoxically.

Island and Letellier estimate that each year in the United States 500,000 Gay men are existing in violent and abusive relationships. Extrapolating this number to Canada, which has one-tenth the population of the United States, suggests that perhaps as many as 50,000 Canadian Gay men are existing in violent and abusive relationships. Island and Letellier feel that their estimate for the United States is probably on the low side.

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