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We Need To Talk About Intimate Partner Abuse in the Bisexual Community

downloadIn 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the results of a survey into domestic- and intimate partner violence (IPV) in the USA. It found that 38% of bisexual men and 75% of bisexual women and had experienced physical or sexual or mental abuse from a partner. In the UK, Stonewall research has also found 75% of lesbian and bisexual women have experienced domestic abuse. Two thirds of the perpetrators were female.

We asked four bisexual survivors of domestic- and intimate partner violence to tell us their stories, and this is what we learned. [Contains frank descriptions of abuse in survivors’ own words]

We don’t have a frame of reference for our experiences

Stereotypes abound when it comes to partner violence. We believe men are abusers and women are abused and we believe same-sex relationships are by their nature free from violence. We believe abuse must… Continue reading

We speak to Domestic Abuse Caseworker Sarah Golightley

abusedwomanSarah Golightley, Domestic Abuse Caseworker for the London LGBT Domestic Abuse Partnership, tells Biscuit about the Partnership’s work

“The first few months were fantastic. She was charming, outgoing and I really liked her. But I started to sense things were moving a bit too quickly for me, particularly after she’d insisted we live together. That’s when things started to change for the worse. She started acting jealous around my friends. She’d constantly text me and call me up at work, asking where I’d been. Then she became aggressive. She’d make remarks about telling my family that I’m bi because she knew I’m wasn’t out to them. I sometimes feel intimated being around her, worried that I might accidentally upset her. Other times being with her is great: she apologises, but then something sparks her anger again. Sometimes she blames me for ‘making’ her upset. It feels confusing.”

This is a familiar story of domestic abuse faced by LGBT people. Some of the specifics might change: ‘she’ might be ‘he’ or ‘they’, or it could be abuse from a parent or an ex-partner. Your story could be very different. There may be pressure for you to have sex when you don’t want to. Perhaps there is physical violence, threats or bi-phobic remarks. It can be ongoing abuse, or a one-off incident. It might be hard to even think of it as being abuse at all. Is it that bad? How bad does it have to be before it’s considered to be abusive?
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