Fun, romance, good sex, being cared for, feeling valued and safe - that's what relationships are supposed to be about.
But what if you're being hurt by someone you love?
Do you feel:
Scared to disagree or to say no?
Constantly criticised and blamed?
Your partner always checks up on you, follows you or harasses you with calls, texts or emails?
Your partner tries to control what you do and who you see?
Made to do sexual things you don't want to do?
Afraid of being attacked and injured by your partner?
Kept away from your friends, family or children?
Trapped because your partner has threatened to self-harm or commit suicide if you leave?
Your partner is taking advantage of what they see as your weakness or disability?
Your partner tries to control your money or doesn't share money?
Worried because your partner has threatened to 'out' you?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, these are signs that you're not being treated right. Being abused in a relationship can make you feel anxious and confused and can affect your health and confidence. Some forms of abuse are also against the law.
Abuse is when one partner tries to control or dominate the other.
It can include:
Possessiveness and jealousy
I stopped talking to everyone I cared about, because she was so jealous.
Aggression or violence
I constantly felt afraid, manipulated, and controlled by his threats, outbursts and mood swings
Put-downs and manipulation
She would tell me that if only I was more fun, or thinner, or more affectionate in public - then she could commit to me.
If I didn't have sex when he wanted it, he'd threaten to leave me to find someone 'better'.
Read real-life stories from people who've experienced abuse in same sex relationships.
Is it my fault?
Even though your partner might try to blame you for how they act, it's not your fault. No matter what you do, a partner shouldn't hurt you or make you feel bad about yourself. We all get stressed, upset or jealous - but we don't have to take our feelings out on other people. Trust your feelings and remember that you don't deserve to be abused. The effects of abuse are serious, so it's important to get help.
What can I do?
If you're worried, you could:
- Tell friends you trust. Friends can help by listening and supporting you to stay safe
- Contact a support service. They can listen, provide support and help you work out how to stay safe
- Plan where you can go and who you will call if you feel afraid of your partner. Keep important items together in a safe place in case you have to leave - such as money, keys, bank cards and important documents
- Call the police if you are in danger, or have been physically or sexually assaulted, stalked or harassed. The police can charge the person with a criminal offence
- Apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order. This is a court order aimed at protecting you from abuse or violence. The order places conditions on the abusive person - for example, that they can't come near you, or can't abuse you again. It's a criminal offence to disobey the order.
This information also comes in a DVRCV booklet, 'Love or control? Abuse in same-sex relationships'.
There are services that take violence in same-sex relationships seriously. Your confidentiality will be protected and you will be treated with respect.
In an emergency call Police on 000
For information and referral to safe accommodation in Victoria
free call: 1800 015 188 (24 hours)
Counselling, information and referrals for the LGBTI community (Australia-wide)
3pm to midnight, in your state
t: 1800 184 527
Family and relationship violence service for the LGBTI community
Contact intake worker Mon- Fri 9am to 5pm
t: 03 9865 6700 or 1800 134 840 (free call for country callers)
VAC also runs the ReVisioning Men’s Behaviour Change Program that offers a group-based program to same sex and same gender attracted men who use violence. Referrals into ReVisioning can also be made via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centres Against Sexual Assault
Counselling and support if you have been sexually assaulted
t: 03 9635 3610 after hours: 03 9349 2466
freecall: 1800 806 292 w: casa.org.au
InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Support for women in their own language
t: 03 9413 6500 freecall: 1800 755 988
Kara House Lesbian Domestic Violence Outreach Service
Support and assistance for women
t: 1800 900 520
Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs)
Consider talking to a specially trained Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer.
GLLOs are specially trained and are sensitive to GLBTI issues.
t: 03 9247 6944