Negative relationships & domestic abuse
Relationships can vary from casual relationships such as “friends with benefits” to serious relationships like “civil partnerships”. Since many LGBT people don’t start having relationships until after they come out, some people struggle with monogamous relationships as they haven’t had the same time to develop those skills in the way that heterosexuals have. Due to this, people in relationships may not always be able to see when relationships start to turn sour. Examples of some of the bad signs of negative relationships are jealousy, control, dishonesty and domestic abuse.
As well as not having as much time to develop relationship skills, “LGBT relationships” can suffer from the fact that the partners don’t rely on traditional gender roles and therefore finding the correct chemistry can be difficult at first. People in same-sex relationships may also suffer from comparing themselves to the partners.
To ensure a good relationship remember to keep good communication, respect each other’s space, give support and have fun. Never feel like you can’t reach out to friends if you are having problems.
Domestic abuse occurs in one in four relationships (in both same sex and opposite sex relationships). Domestic abuse doesn’t just include physical abuse (i.e. your partner physically hurting you), it can also include:
- emotional abuse: such as threatening to kill themselves if you leave them
- mental/psychological abuse: such as bullying to reduce your confidence
- verbal abuse: this can include some of the mental abuse; where your partner is putting you under constant criticism
- sexual abuse: i.e. being made to have sex with your partner without your consent
- financial abuse: this is when your partner uses money or finances to control what you do (it can include taking away your independence so that you are forced to stay in the relationship)
- Neglect: is a specific form of abuse when one of the partners is classed as vulnerable (e.g. is physically disabled) and is where your partner isn’t taking care of you or giving you the support you need
As well as from friends, there are plenty of other places to get support.
If you’ve been a victim by physical abuse, you can contact the police and seek medical attention for injuries. Keep a record of incidents (with dates and times) so that you’ll be able to give a thorough account if needs be.
You can also make arrangements such as organising safe places to go to and changing numbers and locks. There are also many domestic violence support agencies such as: Broken rainbow, NHS direct, Samaritans, Victim Support and Respect.