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A Lesbian DV Brochure


Subject:           A lesbian DV brochure
    Date:           Fri, 17 Jul 1998 04:47:44 +1300
   From:           Mark

A verbatim copy of a brochure I picked up from a small town community noticeboard while travelling in Victoria [Australia] last week.

Mind-boggling in its implications.

Mark

*****************
"I NEVER BELIEVED SHE'D ABUSE ME."

Information on domestic violence for lesbians

Domestic Violence and Incest Resource Centre

Country callers can reverse charges
(03) 9387-9155 public line
(03) 9380-4343 admin line
TTY: (03) 9380-9387

..........................................................
Violence and abuse within lesbian relationships is a CRIME
..........................................................

 

Lesbian violence is:  

Any behaviour which is adopted by a woman to control you, which causes physical, sexual or psychological damage or causes you to live in fear.  Physical and sexual violence are the most obvious forms of violence.

Pushing, biting, hitting, punching and using a weapon are all forms of violence.  Forcing you to participate in sex is violence.  Threats are a form of violence.
 

Other forms of violence include:

Unsafe driving, destroying your possessions, insulting or humiliating you publicly, lying, making you think you're crazy or stupid, controlling your money, isolating you from friends or family, hurting your children or pets, blackmail, treating you like a servant, threatening murder or suicide, drugging you, threatening to "out" you to employers or family, creating a sense of impending punishment.

Lesbians often say these are the most insidious forms of violence and abuse because they are difficult to explain and are often regarded as "ordinary relationship problems."

You deserve to live and love
free from violence

............................................
If you have been in a violent relationship,
you may have some of these feelings:
............................................

  • afraid to tell anyone

  • depressed or humiliated

  • afraid you have failed as a lover

  • guilty about leaving her or scared of coping alone

  • furious that she could do or say what she did

  • confused because sometimes she is loving and kind

  • guilty about leaving her [sic]

  • frustrated and sad because you tried everything

  • afraid of continued violence if you leave

  • panicked that you may lose your lesbian identity outside a relationship

  • worried about your financial security

  • made to believe that you deserved it

........................................
It may be helpful to look at some of the
ways you've coped until now:
........................................

  • you have been careful about what you say, when you say things and how you say them.
  • you have tried to talk to her about her stress, drug use or moods.  

  • you have given up doing anything likely to upset her.

  • you adapt your behaviour to what she says she wants.

  • you tried to make agreements or set boundaries.

Give Yourself Credit For Everything You Have Tried

......................................
Never think her violence is your fault
......................................

You may believe you are equally responsible for your partner's violence BUT you are not to blame.

All violence has damaging consequences.

Your belief in your worth and your sense of having rights and choices becomes eroded by constant abuse.

...........................
You have a right to be safe
Violence is unacceptable
...........................

There are many common beliefs about why lesbians choose to be violent:  

  • "she had a sad or traumatic childhood" 

  • "she drinks or uses drugs" 

  • "she has trouble expressing her feelings" 

  • "she is oppressed as a lesbian" 

  • "she can't control her anger" 

  • "something about you drives her to violence"

THESE ARE ALL EXCUSES!

We all experience stress, trauma, anger, and fear but a violent lesbian chooses to use violence to control and get her own way.  She CAN control her violence but she chooses to control and abuse you.  She uses violence deliberately to weaken your choices to act.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A CRIME  

......................
Believing and trusting
your own feelings
......................

You may not have believed until recently that her behaviour could be labelled as violent.

If you feel scared and unsafe in her presence something is wrong.  You are the best judge of how safe you are.

You may not have told anyone about the violence.

You may have told friends who have not understood your danger and distress.

Acknowledge the pain and grief of abuse.

.........
You could
.........

Tell friends you trust.

Make safety arrangements such as organising a safe place to go, changing your phone number and locks.

Telephone DVIRC and talk to a worker, find out about your legal rights or see a counsellor.

REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU DESERVE TO LIVE IN SAFETY
AND THAT HER VIOLENCE IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
   

.............................
Lesbians can be supportive by
.............................

Supporting the right of all lesbians to live safely.

Becoming informed about violence within lesbian relationships.

Passing comment if you witness behaviour you believe is abusive or violent.

Listening to, believing and taking positive action to support a woman who confides in you.  Ask "How can I help?" or "What can you do to make yourself safer?"

.......................................
You can ring the Domestic Violence and
Incest Resource Centre
(03) 9387 9155
Monday - Friday
9am - 1pm
.......................................

  • to talk and obtain support

  • to find out about your legal rights and obtain legal information

  • to obtain support in dealing with the police

  • to enquire about lesbian or lesbian-friendly counsellors

  • to use the library resources on lesbian violence

  • to arrange for the DVIRC to speak to your group, service or organisation

Other Useful Numbers

Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service of Victoria
(formerly the Women's Refuge Referral Service)

9329-8433  or toll free 1800-015-188 (24hrs)

Police emergency number:  000
 

...................
Produced by DVIRC
Reprinted June 1995
...................


Bibliographical References


Discussion

Original comments by Erin Pizzey
http://fathersforlife.org/eplesbdv.htm  

Subject:            Re: A lesbian DV brochure
    Date:            Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:11:38 -0700
   From:            Walter Schneider < >

My comments are appended after Dave's remarks.

--Walter

Dave [last name and e-mail address withheld on request] wrote in response to Erin Pizzey:

She argued that this was not so and the women were beaten by their husbands or partners when they tried to leave them for another women.  Are there figures for gay men's violence towards each other?  I would imagine but could be quite wrong, that the figures are less than for gay women? 

erin pizzey 

Erin,

It's anecdotal but my be of interest to you. My brother was a senior  emergency ward physician at Canada's largest hospital. He was quite surprised at the number of gays of either sex that he treated for domestic violence.

While I suspect it was due in part due to breaking some stereotypes for him, he inferred his surprise was due the fact DV treatment for gays was as high as it was for heterosexuals for those treated at his hospital.

Cheers,

Dave


To which I responded:

Dave, could you clarify that a bit?

When your brother said  "DV treatment for gays was as high as it was for heterosexuals for those treated at his hospital," did that indicate that the total number of gay patients treated was as high as the total number of heterosexual patients who were victims of DV, or did that indicate relative incidents based on the total numbers of gays and heterosexuals in the population?

The difference is significant.  The total number of gays in the Canadian population (as elsewhere) is estimated to be at 1.5%.  That would mean that the relative incidence of DV in the gay population is 67 times higher than that in the heterosexual population.

On a related issue, the ratio between male and female victims of DV, my neighbour is involved in the health care industry and worked in a hospital in Eastern Alberta, close to an Indian reservation.

The majority of DV victims admitted at that hospital were Natives, disproportionately to their proportion of the population served by the hospital.  That shouldn't surprise anyone, because Canada's native population has a rate of broken families far in excess of the Canadian average.  That fact contributes largely to Canada's statistics on domestic violence -- the whole Canadian male population is being vilified as a result of it.  Canada's First Nations organizations make much political hay out of the fact that Canada's Natives are enormously over-represented in the penal system.  They rightly point out that it is evidence of a problem of a discriminatory nature, although they never publicly stress the causes of the far higher criminality of our natives: the higher rate of broken families.  They do mention the other main causes of criminality, unemployment (far above the Canadian average of 25% and as high as 80% on some reservations) and the high rate of alcoholism.

* Canada's government sources always quote the misleading numbers of people receiving employment insurance benefits.  Less than half of the unemployed in the employable population are entitled to receive those.  Therefore, whenever any government source cites unemployment figures that they say are in the order of 9 to 11% over the years, they are misleading the gullible media and thereby the gullible masses.  It shouldn't come as a surprise that they do this, because the true unemployment rate is currently at least as bad as it was during the depression in the '30s.  The only thing that is saving the unfortunate who are unemployed is a social safety net that is somewhat better than that available during the Great Depression.  That, along with relief food being available through the food banks, saves many from starvation.

However, what my neighbour noticed was the remarkable disparity between the sexes of the victims of domestic violence.  By a considerable majority, men comprise most of the victims of family violence.  He intended to provide me with hard data on this from hospital admittance records.  Unfortunately, due to a severe illness, he had to take sick leave and later changed employers.  He didn't get a chance to get me the data.

Data like that he was willing to provide to me is being collected in hospital admittance records in Canada.  Even if some hospitals don't go into that level of detail anymore, a wealth of such data is available in hospital archives -- going back for decades.  Unfortunately, it doesn't make it into official government publications.  Government organizations are actively discouraged and even forbidden to publish anything that relates to ethnicity in such information, ostensibly because of our human rights laws.

Because of the bias inherent in our universities in anything pertaining to social research, it isn't very likely that any of our universities will make up for the obfuscating undertaken by our governments.

The truth about family violence may not become fully known until the current persecution of our males has run its course and a new society rises out of the ashes of the one that is being destroyed now along with our families and traditional morals.

--Walter H. Schneider

    Note: Dave replied.  He stressed once more that the rate of DV incidents reported at the hospital is no more than anecdotal evidence, skewed because of the affiliation and locality of the hospital, and therefore not likely to be representative of "normal" gay DV rates.


Additional Reading:

See also:

___________
Updates:
1999 06 12
2000 05 23 (to show link to information about lesbian DV)
2000 12 16 (added "Additional Reading")
2001 02 05 (format changes)
2002 12 22 (format changes and addition of links to two indexes)
2013 03 08 (removed reference to dvstats.org -- website no longer functions)