The Volksgaren Project: the Volksgaren Journal
"people working together." Intelligent Abuse Recovery for all
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The Gay Man & Family Violence

Marty is a 31-year-old gay white male, who lives in Toronto. He knows first hand about domestic violence. "I ended a three-year verbally abusive relationship. When I left I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," Marty said. After ending the relationship Marty found himself confused, with no concept of self, lonely, scared and with high levels of self-hatred. Marty was walking through life in a daze, with mental scars as well as physical scars to remind him of what he went through. He finally decided to break his silence and seek counseling. However, he found that help and professional services for gay men were not so easy to locate.

According to Marty, "the relationship was destructive and unhealthy, and physically abusive in the end. The first thing I wanted to do was find my self worth in the form of someone else's sexual attraction to me, even if that meant unprotected sex." There were suicidal thoughts, periods of deep-rooted depression, anger, and loneliness. All of these emotions he could experience in a single day.

The unreported violence and Marty's reaction are more common than not among gay men and lesbians. Domestic violence in the gay community is very seldomly documented or addressed.

"The hardest thing to get over was being a victim," Marty stated. "I couldn't admit that to myself. I am a man. A strong man. Men don't get abused."

Because domestic violence is defined primarily as a heterosexual problem, many gays and lesbians do not recognize domestic violence even when it is happening to them. Like Marty, many people internalize the belief that domestic violence only occurs in heterosexual relationships. This belief is further reinforced by domestic violence public education campaigns. These campaigns assume universal heterosexuality and exclusively address male-female relationships.

 Profile of an Abuser:
  • Overly jealous
  • Tries to isolate partner (victim of abuse) from friends and family
  • Attempts to control partner
  • Severe mood swings (Jekyll and Hyde personalities)
  • Explosive temper
  • Tells partner that problems are partner's fault
  • Directs verbal assaults toward partner Blames others, especially the victim for their actions
  • Low self-esteem

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence please seek help.

If you are an abuser or think you may be an abuser, STOP and get help immediately.

Volksgaren Proudly works with ALL people. We follow the SAFE philosophy which says that all people deserve to live life free of the scourge of violence.