All of us are familiar with the story of the overpowering man who uses his fists to control a woman. We’ve seen pictures of the scars…the black eye, the bloody nose, etc. Thank God there are dozens of domestic violence campaigns to combat this insidious disease.
What we hear about less often is the violence that goes on in families: violence among brothers and sisters, violence among mothers and daughters, violence among cousins...you get the point. And what we hear about even less often is violence between gay and lesbian couples. It took Adam Lambert’s recent run-in with the law to shine a spotlight on this type of DV. Even then it was brushed under the rug and no one talked about domestic violence in the gay community in depth.
Anyone who knows me knows about my struggles with domestic violence on the home front. Until my family became the enemy, I looked at domestic violence as something that only happened between a man and a woman.
If you would have told me that my family would become my worst enemy, I wouldn’t have believed you. I never thought my brothers and sisters would use their fists, verbal weapons (in other words, terror) to attempt to control me, to berate me, to lash out at me. Basically, that’s what domestic violence is all about, isn’t it? An attempt to control another person and bring them to their knees.
I’m not going to go into detail about the situation I’m facing, but suffice it to say, fights are common in my household. Arguments that the entire neighborhood can hear is the modus operandi in this house, something I hate to admit.
Someone once said that domestic violence should be called “domestic terror”. In part, I agree with that because the words that are flung, the blows that are constantly thrown, produce terror in the victim. The victim is always on edge, always wondering when the next argument will happen, when the next blow will be thrown, what that other person is going to do next. They are constantly wondering how far the next incident will go, how much it will escalate. It’s terror at its finest.
Regarding homosexual relationships: I think there’s less talk of domestic violence in homosexual relationships because most people see violence between same-sex couples as a fight between two equals. In other words, they think it’s a level playing field. What people don’t realize is that the terror that an abuser dishes out incites fear in their partner no matter what, regardless of whether they’re gay or straight.
There is a need to address domestic violence of all types. Any violence that happens between two people is violence no matter who the people happen to be. Victims need to be protected.