Essay on Domestic Violence in Gay/Lesbian Relationships   no comments

Posted at 2:47 pm in Samples

In society today when a spouse is domestically abused it is frowned upon to the point of great punishment for the accused. The accused party is most likely convicted of domestic violence charges and most likely sentenced to prison or in drastic cases…even worse. The same instances occur in same-sex relationships everyday, but they are not looked upon in the same light. The violence is still frowned upon, but there are no real “partner” laws to protect the abused partner and to allow them to have a basis to fight back on. Even though in the world today, gay and lesbian relationships are more prominent they are still looked upon in a different light in domestic violence cases. Back in 1994 there was a case ion Perth, Australia where a man by the name of Robert McEwan was arrested and charged with the willful murder of his same-sex partner of fourteen years. His partner was died from multiple stab wounds, but McEwan pled not guilty on the defense of the “battered wife syndrome”. He claimed that he had been abused physically, emotionally and sexually by his partner for several years. In a long court case the courts decided to not proceed with the willful murder charge and the charge was put to a lesser manslaughter charge. The case previously mentioned was one of the first and only same-sex cases that based it’s actions on the “battered wife syndrome”. The question arises in this area that if an individual is to base their actions on the “battered wife syndrome” then wouldn’t it make sense that the couple would have to have a legal marriage title. The problem with this is that in many states in the United States and even places around the world do not recognize same-sex marriages and therefore a same-sex partner could not rely on the “battered wife syndrome” to serve as protection to them. Society today has really begun to put a lot of focus on domestic violence, but as pointed out before the only relationships that they really look into are heterosexual relationships. With the gay and lesbian population increasing and becoming more of a culturally acceptable taboo society is going to have to start conforming some of their preconceived thoughts. It’s amazing to see the statistics that 15%-20% of gay and lesbian couples are affected by domestic violence. As for gay men today domestic violence is the third most severe health problem facing gay men today…trailing behind only AIDS and substance abuse. The major problem today with the issue of domestic violence in gay and lesbian relationships is that it still remains largely a taboo subject even within the gay and lesbian communities. A large quantity of gay and lesbian couples deny any sort of signs of domestic violence in their relationships and there is also the fact that there is a major fear that they will receive no help in their situation. In the heterosexual world, if a spouse is being abused and reports it to authorities then they can usually press charges and the law enforcement will look into the situation and place it in top priority.

There are places for battered women to go and clinics to help individuals find help. In the homosexual world however the fear of being shrugged off or ignored and then to have to face the fear of the accused finding you out is a major fear. There is not yet enough of a cultural acceptance in society today to make the gay and lesbian communities totally equal to that of the heterosexual world. In time there may be perhaps a chance of the that occurring, but in the near future this is not a very likely occurrence. Same sex violence is not going to be overcome easily. The main problem with the whole issue is that there is too much silence and there is going to have to be a break in the silence in order for there to be a break in the violence. There are going to have to be individuals that will step up and challenge the systems at the cost of comfortableness. The gay and lesbian communities are going to have to raise the awareness of domestic violence in gay and lesbian relations and let the world know that they aren’t going to stand back and watch people get beaten with no assistance just because of a difference of views between the parties. It is not going to be an easy trek, but who ever said life was going to be easy. Sometimes people have to make the choice of living comfortably or shaking things up to make things right again.

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