Violence in GLBT relationships

Violence in gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender relationships

Do you know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and caught in a violent relationship with their partner, like Wee Lee in his story “Let go of your fears”? Or maybe someone you know is being abusive towards their partner, girlfriend or boyfriend?

Domestic violence is:

* Any type of abusive behaviour used to gain and maintain control over another.

* When one partner or ex-partner consciously tries to manipulate and dominate the other.

* About the misuse of power and control.

Types of GLBT domestic violence

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse or social control. Abuse does not always have to be physical or sexual to become domestic violence.

Emotional or psychological abuse is any type of behaviour by one partner to make the other feel afraid, worthless or unsafe.

Examples of emotional and psychological abuse include:

* Putting the partner down eg, telling them that they are ugly, stupid or incompetent.

* Humiliating them in front of friends, family or in public.

* ‘Outing’ or threatening to out them to friends, family, at work or to their cultural community.

* Undermining the relationship between the partner and their loved ones.

* Threatening to self-harm or commit suicide

Social abuse is any behaviour by one partner to control the other’s social life. It can include:

* Stopping them from visiting their friends or family.

* Abusing or fighting with their friends or family so they stop visiting or calling.

* Locking them in the house, or preventing them from attending social events.

Physical abuse is any type of physical violence that an abusive partner inflicts on the other. It can include:

* Hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, strangling or burning.

* Breaking possessions or punching/kicking walls.

* Withholding or stopping their partner from getting medication or treatments.

Sexual abuse is any behaviour where one partner forces the other to perform sexual acts against their will. It can include:

* Pressuring them to have sex when they don’t want to.

* Pressuring, forcing or tricking them into non-consensual or unsafe sex.

* Forcing them to have sex with other people.

* Sexually assaulting or raping them.

Stalking is any behaviour by which one partner (or ex-partner) tries to intimidate or harass the other. It can include:

Following them when they go to work, home or out.

Constantly watching them, their home or workplace.

Calling, texting or e-mailing them or their family, friends or work colleagues more often than is appropriate or when asked not to.


Are you struggling with GLBT violence issues in your relationship, or know someone who is in need of help and support?

 Although we might not have a comprehensive programme in Singapore for people involved in and affected by GLBT relationship violence, we do hope you can talk to someone about it, stay safe and work out a solution.

Oogachaga Counselling & Support

Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVe)

Action for Women and Research (AWARE)

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

If there is any immediate danger or imminent threat to life, please call the Police emergency hotline 999.


Another Closet: Domestic violence in gay & lesbian relationships.

This is an edited version of the original article entitled Violence in a gay relationship written by Bryan Choong, Centre Manager, Oogachaga, first posted on Blowing Wind.

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