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Abusive relationships

Many men who deal with other men feel that they are not at risk of, or in an abusive relationship because of the mistaken belief that abuse only happens to women, when in actuality, abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) is just as common in gay relationships as it is in straight relationships.
Abusive relationships don’t just start off as being abusive; if someone got punched on the first date, it’s not likely they’d go back for a second date, right?

Abuse can be as obvious as being grabbed, hit or even raped by your partner, to being emotionally or mentally controlled or manipulated. Non-physical abuse includes yelling, name-calling, or even black-mail against a partner (i.e., threatening to “out” a lover’s sexual behaviour, orientation, or HIV status to family and friends. Abuse is about power and control, and usually it’s really about the abuser's own personal issues and past experiences. Abuse is never your fault. Abuse must be worked out by the abuser and so for your own safety it is important you remove yourself from the situation.

If you are/think you are in an abusive relationship, find someone supportive, like a friend or family member who you can speak to. Seek out the help of a professional (counselor, therapist, social worker) who is gay positive and knowledgeable about abuse. They may be able to help you take further steps if needed such as contacting the police.

Unhealthy/Abusive Relationship Quiz

In a relationship, have you ever experienced:

1. physical violence?
Yes No

2. threats that your partner will leave you if you don't do what he/she asks?
Yes No

3. being kept away from family and friends?
Yes No

4. not being allowed to look at or speak to other males/females?
Yes No

5. having to juSTIfy your whereabouts?
Yes No

6. your partner using guilt trips to get his/her own way?
Yes No

7. not being able to go out without your partner?
Yes No

8. put-downs about your physical appearance?
Yes No

9. your partner never being satisfied with you?
Yes No

10. fear or intimidation by your partner?
Yes No

11. being treated badly or humiliated in front of your friends or family?
Yes No

yes: no:

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, you may be in an unhealthy or potentially abusive relationship.

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